Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 December 2012

Nigeria: 'Country Still Has N72.2 Billion Subsidy Funds'

The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) yesterday said though the Senate has passed the N161 billion supplementary budget for President Goodluck Jonathan for Fuel Subsidy payment, it remains fraudulent as there is an outstanding N72.2 billion unspent from the 2011 subsidy appropriation.

Executive Secretary of the ACN, Chief Dino Melaye, said in Abuja that the House of Representatives action on the President's request is commendable and that the Reps should rather not pass the supplementary budget.

"In 2011 budget, N888.3 billion was appropriated by the National Assembly for fuel subsidy. Two weeks ago at the budget defence in the National Assembly, the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPA), Mr. Stanley Reginald told Members of the House of Representatives that a total sum of N679 billion had been spent on fuel subsidy from January - October 2012 and that the sum of N670 million had been saved by the Federal Government.

"From his postulations to the National Assembly Nigeria spends an average of N367.9 billion per month. So since we have paid unto October, we will only need N135.8 billion to settle for the remaining of November and December. If this N313.8 billion is deducted from the balance of N208 billion left now in the subsidy account, there will be an outstanding of N72.2 billion in the account at the end of the year. So what do we need a supplementary appropriation for it is fraudulent, not necessary and pure corruption. So we conclude that the National Assembly and indeed the House of Representatives which had yet to pass the bill must not do so because it is a total and complete fraud," Melaye said.

On what the group will do if the National Assembly pass the bill, he said, "We will match and occupy the National Assembly. We cannot be taken for granted. Subsidy is a total fraud, as it does not exist. What we subsidize is actually corruption. At all cost within the ambit of law, we must protect the resources of Nigerians. The SURE-P program is an aberration, fraud and corruption pipe for 2015 elections."

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