The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has thrown its weight behind subsidy removal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying the decision will enable the country save huge resources.
The chairman, RMAFC, Mr. Mohammed Bello Shehu, said this in Abuja on Thursday.
He recalled that the Commission had consistently expressed its position on the issue of subsidy removal since the time of late Hamman Tukur who chaired the Commission under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to Shehu, payment of humongous amounts to a privileged few in the name of subsidy was a major drain on the nation’s scarce resources.
He said the statement became necessary following the Nigeria National Petroleum Company limited (NNPCL) withdrawal from contributing to the Federation Account due to the fuel subsidy regime.
As one of the fourteen (14) Federal Executive Bodies established by section 153 (1)(n) and empowered by paragraph 32 (a) and (c) of part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution(as amended), RMAFC has the constitutional mandate to monitor the accruals to and disbursement of Revenue from the Federation Account and also advise Federal and State Governments on fiscal efficiency and methods by which their revenue can be increased.
“The country can no longer sustain fuel subsidies whose demerits far outweigh its benefits to the citizenry. It is saddening to note that since 1st January, 2022 to date, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has not been contributing to the Federation Account due to the claimed subsidy payments. The total amount withheld by the NNPCL as claimed subsidies for this period amounted to N8,480,204,553,608.13 as reported by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation(OAGF) which is yet to be reconciled by the RMAFC, OAGF, and NNPCL”
He added that in a situation whereby the records of subsidy transactions were not transparent and crude oil prices were being determined globally, it would be unwise to sustain the phantom payments of subsidy at the detriment of other critical sectors of the economy.
He, however, urged the new administration to work out strategies that would cushion the attendant effect of the new policy, adding that deterrent measures should be earnestly taken to bring to book all the economic saboteurs who have contributed to our national adversity in accordance with the extant laws of the Federation.