The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, says it has began steps to probe the consumption volume of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, in Nigeria amid the hardship of fuel subsidy removal.
The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji, disclosed this in Abuja while speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Stakeholders Validation Workshop on the 2022 Annual Progress Report for Nigeria’s Extractive Industries.
He said the purported daily fuel consumption may be less than presented.
“For a very long time, my disposition has been for the removal of subsidy. And this government, right from day one has taken that bold step. There shouldn’t be any going back.
Orji stated that NEITI knew that subsidy removal would throw up a lot of other issues, adding that “one of those issues that we know will happen is the actual consumption figure of petrol.”
He said “We believe that the figures’ being thrown up as daily consumption of PMS in Nigeria is incorrect. We need an empirical figure, so NEITI is commissioning a study on the actual PMS consumption in Nigeria.
“We have every reason to believe that the figure may be less than what is being projected, and the removal of subsidy has also removed all the incentives for hiking this figure in a manner that lacks empirical and logical reason,” he said.
“So the removal of subsidy will remove a lot of opacity and suspicion in budgeting based on estimates. That is why subsidy removal is a very fundamental policy shift that needs to be sustained.”
The NEIT boss, stated that some steps should be put in place to cushion the immediate effects that subsidy removal had brought to bear on the very vulnerable less privileged poor, who were spread across the working and non-working class.
“We just need the impact of this subsidy removal to reflect in the improvement of the general well-being of Nigerians and in our social infrastructure,” he stated.
Orji said, “We had suggested that subsidy should be removed. Now it has been removed. We are now pleading and requesting that a robust arrangement be put in place to show Nigerians the impact of subsidy removal in terms of roads built, infrastructure, access to health, education, etc.
“The savings from this subsidy should be visibly impactful in the lives of NIgerians, and that is where all of us must take responsibility. NEITI has a responsibility working with the media in this direction.”