FG can’t continue subsidy, gas should be encouraged – NNPCL


The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has said the Federal Government can no longer afford to pay for fuel subsidy. It noted wealthy Nigerians mostly benefited from the subsidy, and that the subsidy regime was no longer sustainable.

The NNPCL’s Executive Vice-President, Gas, Power and New Energy, Mohammed Ahmed, made this known during the third opportunity session, “Gas Opportunities”, at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair 2023.

The two-day event which began on Thursday was held at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board Conference Centre, Bayelsa. It had the theme, ‘The oil and gas industry: Catalyst and fuel for the industralisation of Nigeria’.

While there have been concerns that the removal of fuel subsidy will cause more hardship for Nigerians by raising the cost of fuel and goods, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Monday said Nigeria spent over N13tn subsidising petrol between 2005 and 2021.

The President-elect, Bola Tinubu, had promised during the election campaign that he would remove the subsidy.

While responding to a question from a participant, Ahmed noted that the problem with the country exploring all of its gas potentials was due to lack of investments from corporate organisations and members of the public.

He stated, “The problem is that people who are supposed to invest are not investing. I also want to put it on record that the NNPC of five years ago is not the NNPC of today. It is NNPCL today. What does that mean? It is a limited liability company and cannot, therefore, continue to speak for the government.

“But I want to say, by and large, subsidy or no subsidy, we have to graduate from diesel to gas and PMS to gas.

“Simply put, the Federal Government cannot continue to pay for your fuel. I can say this comfortably. It is your fuel (ostensibly referring to the audience) and not for those that are in the villages. They do not have two or three cars. You (in the urban areas) are the ones who may have these cars. So, who are we subsidising for?”

Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sign the Energy Commission of Nigeria Amendment Bill before handing it over to the next administration.

The appeal was contained in a statement jointly signed by the President of PENGASSAN, Mr Festus Osifo, and the General Secretary, Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, on Friday in Abuja.

The association said the appeal was a sequel to the neglect of the bill which was transmitted to the President on November 28, 2022.

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