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FG advised on ‘better’ way to spend World Bank’s $800m, over palliatives

While NECA supports the removal of the fuel subsidy and commends the World Bank support, it believes that the government should not shy away from the fundamental issues.

This call was made by the Director-General of NECA, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement titled “Fuel Subsidy Removal: NECA Urges a More Fundamental Action.”

In the statement, NECA stated that fixing the country’s refineries was the most important action the government could take to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.

While NECA supports the removal of the fuel subsidy and the World Bank’s support, the association believes that the government should not overlook the fundamental issue of fixing the refineries before the removal of the subsidy.

Oyerinde said, “It makes no economic sense to inject cash in the form of palliatives into an economy that is already beset with unending inflationary pressures.”

He added that the proposed $800 million would have little or no effect on Nigerians, and that the government should focus on creating an all-encompassing institutional structure to manage the gradual removal of the subsidy after fixing the refineries.

NECA also called for accountability as the subsidy regime gradually comes to an end. Oyerinde emphasised that all those who have sabotaged efforts to fix and have the refineries function at optimal capacity must be held accountable.

He further urged anti-graft agencies to investigate all those who have had any involvement in the subsidy regime directly or indirectly and to recover stolen funds.

According to Oyerinde, NECA has consistently called on the government to fix the refineries and establish the right institutional and policy framework to keep them running. “We had hoped this would have been given attention first,” he said.

The NECA boss called on the government to answer questions regarding the non-functioning of the refineries despite the millions of dollars expended on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) and the difficulty in prosecuting those who have collected money for the TAM and refused to fix the refineries.

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