Moghalu Condemns Buhari Administration over Illegal Subsidy Payment
Lagos, Nigeria, November 07, 2018 – Professor Kingsley Moghalu, the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), has said it is illegal for the national oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to divert the dividends from the country’s investment in Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) into payment of petrol subsidy.
By law, dividends from the nation’s 49% equity stake in NLNG should be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation where the money would be shared by the three tiers of government. The federal government is also required by law to secure budgetary approval from the National Assembly to fund its fiscal commitments, including petrol subsidy.
But instead of obeying the relevant laws, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, through the NNPC, has been breaking the law by secretly diverting NLNG dividends to pay for petrol subsidy that was not budgeted for. According to various media reports, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, last week, told the Senate ad hoc committee investigating alleged $3.5 billion account kept by NNPC for petrol subsidy that only $1.05 billion has been taken from the NLNG dividends fund to defray the cost of “under-recovery” in the importation of fuel.
“The illegal payment of fuel subsidy shows the President Buhari administration is not transparent. His government is also deceitful and acting contrary to its claims of fighting corruption,” said Moghalu. “The continuation of petrol subsidy secretly after 67% increase in the pump price of petrol by Buhari shows incompetence in economic management and political will to reform the petroleum industry.”
Moghalu said the sums diverted to the fuel subsidy scam could accomplish much in education, human capital development and police reform. He promised to abolish the fuel subsidy in 2019, if elected president.
“As President, I plan to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector, and partially privatize the NNPC to make it a transparent corporation,” said Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who also worked in the United Nations for 17 years. “The oil-producing communities will have a significant ownership stake in the shares of NNPC, when privatised, in line with my vision for constitutional restructuring of the country and fiscal federalism, where all Nigerian regions will own the natural resources in their area and pay tax to the federal government.”
Spokesman for Presidential Candidate, Professor Kingsley Moghalu