Some financial analysts have urged the Federal Government to totally deregulate the petroleum industry and reinvest its subsidy payment to more productive sectors of the economy.
They gave the advice in separate interviews in Lagos.
Dr Austine Nwaeze, a former lecturer of Economics at Pan Atlantic University, said that the fund allocated for petroleum subsidy payment could be earmarked for productive sectors that would further spur development in the country.
According to him, most economically vulnerable people will benefit from the development if the subsidy payment is removed by the federal government.
He noted that the petroleum subsidy payment was unsustainable, owing to the country’s poor fiscal position.
“The sector is with corruption and there are too many economic factors which are not in the interest of the masses, The federal government should allow the forces of demand and supply to determine its pricing,” Nwaeze said.
In his view, Mr Sunny Nwosu, founder, Independence Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said Nigerians need to support federal government in ensuring an end to the petroleum subsidy payment.
“It is unfortunate that the current petroleum subsidy payment has not been beneficial to the people nor the government.
“Our people should rather emphasise that the petroleum subsidy payment could be reinvested, especially in subsidising agriculture and healthcare sectors. This will impact the lives of the masses,” he said.
Nwosu noted that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) needs to be managed well because of its enormous prospects to spur national development.
“It is worrying that our own state oil company, the NNPC, is a player in a sector that it regulates at this era of development.
“The federal government could appoint more competent executive team, who will turn the tide of the state own company and make its more profit-oriented,” he said.
Also, Mr Godwin Anono, President Standard Shareholders Association of Nigeria(PSAN), corroborate the two experts, saying,” the federal government needs to totally remove petroleum subsidy so as not to deprive the country of development”.
“We cannot sustain the N450 billion on monthly bases on subsidy payment at the expense of addressing developmental issues, especially now that our economy is quite fragile and rising debt stock need to be repaid,” Anono said.
He noted that the federal government could initiate polices geared at ameliorating the impact of subsidy removal on the most economically disadvantaged people.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd., Malam Mele Kyari, said that the N400 billion fuel subsidy payments made by the NNPCL on a monthly basis are draining the company’s resources.
Kyari said by law and the provisions of the Appropriation Act, there is a subsidy on the supply of petroleum products, particularly PMS imports into our country.
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