President Muhammadu Buhari plans to totally remove fuel subsidy and use the proceeds for the provision of free and compulsory primary/secondary education across the country. The administration is also said to be working on unbundling the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to make it more efficient in the production and delivery of products to Nigerians.
These proposals form part of the strong recommendations made by the transition committee raised by Buhari to work out a blueprint for his administration. Asked if the proposal for total subsidy removal had been discussed with labour, the source said that members of organized labour in the country were consulted by the committee and they made presentations on what should be done over the matter.
And Corruption? : The source pointed out that unlike in the past, the Buhari administration is considering the provision of free meals for students to serve as incentives for them to enroll in school. The source explained that the committee also recommended the unbundling of NNPC to reposition the agency to serve the needs of Nigerians better. According to him, all refineries in Nigeria are to be made to work at maximum capacity by the federal government to be able to deliver adequate products to the consumers.
He said that the era of allocating more crude than any refinery in Nigeria can process was over, as it was discovered that the policy encouraged corruption and diversion of funds. In a tone that suggested that the Buhari administration might probe the operations of the NNPC, the committee member further disclosed that the federal government was set to block all channels of fund leakages in the corporation.
Check and balance? : Meanwhile, hopes for resolution of outstanding subsidy issues hampering normal supply of petroleum products across the country appear kindled as the special investigation team on subsidy claims verification recommends payment of the controversial N160 billion claimed by oil marketers. As a result, bankers have resumed credit lines to the sector while importation by marketers have resumed though it is still on cautious notes.
I pray to God that this pans out in favor of the masses and Nigeria on the long run.