Some concerned Nigerians have faulted the proposed N900 billion allocation in the 2022 budget for petrol subsidy.
They were however backing the Federal Government to totally remove subsidy payment from the pricing template of petroleum products in the country.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos in reaction to the proposed allocation of N900 billion for petrol subsidy in the 2022 budget, the experts said sustaining the subsidy would be shortchanging the masses.
They were of the view that the funds expended on payment of fuel subsidy should be used to fix the productive sectors of the economy.
The founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, said the Federal Government should remove completely the petroleum products subsidy and not make any provision for its payment again in the budget.
“After all, over the years, they have not been subsidy on diesel and kerosene and what is the big deal on petrol.
“It is the few privileged elites who are benefiting from the subsidy payment and not the commoners in the society,” Nwosu said.
He advised the Federal Government to earmark the N900 billion proposed allocation for fuel subsidy payment to other sectors that would engineer economic growth.
“The government should vote the proposed funds to fix critical infrastructure that will improve productive sectors of the economy.
“The funds could be expended on addressing irregular power supplies responsible for stifling businesses, he said.
The former Executive Secretary Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Uju Ogubunka, who supported the removal of the petroleum subsidy, urged the Federal Government to be sincere with it.
“The managers of our economy should be honest and patriotic in tackling the petroleum subsidy challenges, that has spanned for decades.
“It is unexplainable that a major player among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producers will yet be contending with ending difficulties in its petroleum sector,” Ogubunka said.
Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said at the presentation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2022-2024 in Abuja that the Federal Government has projected to spend about N900 billion on fuel subsidy payout to oil marketers in 2022.
Ahmed also said petroleum subsidy cost as much as N150 billion in a particular month, funds which would have been available for education, health and infrastructure development. (NAN)