Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, yesterday, gave reasons why the government would not revert fuel price to N65 per litre.
According to the Minister, maintaining the fuel subsidy would entrench the endemic graft in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s petroleum industry and make it difficult for the government to tackle the issue of corruption among Nigerian oil marketers.
The Minister insisted on air on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) yesterday that the fuel subsidy is at the core of the corruption going on in the nation’s downstream oil sector.
According to her:
“People want us to fight the oil cabal and yet they don’t want us to remove subsidy, which is the main cause of corruption in the sector. We can’t fight corruption in the downstream sector with our hands tied.”
On the issue of smuggling, the Minister emphasized that it will be difficult to ensure zero smuggling of fuel at Nigeria’s borders and insisted that even more advanced economies like the United States have been unable to achieve this.
She asserted that Nigeria’s fuel price without the subsidy remains low compared to other countries stating that the fuel prices in Chad, N210; Ghana, N175; Niger, N181; Benin Republic, N167 and Morocco, N198 are still much higher than that of Nigeria.
“We have only one country, one Nigeria. We want to leave a legacy for us to be remembered for in future. We want to ensure that we can look back after the next three years and say we managed well the temporary pains that came with the removal of fuel subsidy,” she said.
What do you think of Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke’s recent statements on the issue of fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria?