President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday gave an insight on why his administration is yet to make any pronouncement on the proposal for it to remove subsidies in prices of petroleum products.
According to a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Buhari also promised that his administration would handle the issue of subsidies on petroleum products with care.
The President, according to Mr. Shehu, spoke after receiving briefing from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies in the oil sector.
The President, the statement said, told his guests he had so far received a lot of submissions on the need to remove the subsidies but that he was still carefully reviewing them.
“I have received many literature on the need to remove subsidies, but much of it has no depth,” Mr. Buhari said.
“When you touch the price of petroleum products, that has the effect of triggering price rises on transportation, food and rents. That is for those who earn salaries, but there are many who are jobless and will be affected by it,” the President noted.
President Buhari also said that the lack of security, sabotage, vandalism, corruption and mismanagement, not necessarily subsidies, are the most serious problems of Nigeria’s oil sector.
He promised to deal decisively with all identified problems of the oil and gas sector.
“We have to go back to the good old days of transparency and accountability,” the President said .
President Buhari directed the NNPC to review existing agreements for the swapping of crude oil for refined products with a view to injecting more honesty and transparency into the process to reduce costs.
The President also asked the NNPC management to do more to improve the supply of liquefied petroleum Gas (cooking gas).