CHRICED flays sneaky return of petrol subsidy payment

… Tells FG to provide full disclosure of companies

The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has called on the federal government to provide full disclosure of companies that received the recent subsidy payments and the goods or services they provided to qualify for such payments.

The Executive Director, Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi in a statement Wednesday expressed surprise by recent wide reports across credible news platforms to the effect that the Federal Government has since August 2023, surreptitiously resumed the payment of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

According to him, if these reports, which the government has not denied, are accurate, it is evident that the citizens have again been deceived and duped.

He said the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) records, according to reports by Daily Trust newspaper, indicate that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) paid a subsidy of N169.4 billion in August.

“Despite professing for several weeks that it made a courageous and bold decision to end the subsidy regime, it is now evident that the government has reinstated the scheme in a manner that is opaque and lacks transparency. Regrettably, the price of PMS will not return to what it was before May 29th even with the reinstatement of subsidy payments.

“Given that Nigerians have suffered greatly due to the government’s lack of direction and clarity on the issue of subsidy removal, it is difficult to understand why Tinubu’s administration is taking a contradictory stance, and what is motivating the Federal Government’s approach of flip-flopping on the matter.

“We must never forget that the corruption that flourished under the previous subsidy regime was the result of dishonest and underhanded dealings by corrupt marketers/companies. All forms of opaqueness and secrecy will always lead to bad outcomes for the country.

“However, less than 100 days in office, Tinubu’s government reversal, as evident in the covert reintroduction of subsidy payments, prompted close observers to wonder: what happened to the “spirit of courage” that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu claimed he possessed? Is it because the petroleum subsidy is no longer sham? Could it also be stated that the government no longer has to cope with oil thefts and frauds? Or is it possible that Tinubu’s government is currently being held hostage by the subsidy cabal and forced to reverse its position.

“Whatever the motivation, it is disturbing and unacceptable that the same administration, which previously praised itself for sparing the nation from the needless spending associated with subsidies, is now returning the nation to the same path through the back door. This means that the trillions of Naira that the government claimed to have saved by eliminating subsidies are now systematically being conned under the guise of resumption of subsidy payments,” he said.