The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on the federal government to make provision for fuel subsidy in the 2018 budget.
NLC stated that the non-provision of subsidy in previous budgets had led to secrecy and lack of transparency in the management of subsidy under the current administration.It however, demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari should send a supplementary budget to the National Assembly that would capture the amount to be spent on fuel subsidy. Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC’s General Secretary, said in Abuja that the downstream sector of the Nigeria’s petroleum industry had been opaque, particularly in the management of subsidy on petrol. “This is part of the continuing opaque way in the management of the downstream petroleum sector. There is no doubt at all that there is a difference between the landing cost of imported product and the pump price of the commodity at the filling stations. “Now, somebody has to account for that difference and we believe that the way to account for that is to have a transparent appropriation through the National Assembly. This year again, there is no such provision and it is unfortunate because this is unacceptable. We need to move away from the NNPC spending the federation account money in the name of subsidy and come out to claim that there is no subsidy but under-recovery.” Ozo-Eson added, “It is better that we agree now that there is subsidy and we then go to the National Assembly and appropriate that. For us, this year’s budget has not captured it. But we think that the correct thing to do is to go with an appropriate supplementary budget to the National Assembly and capture it properly, stating what should be the expenditure on subsidy.”