EconomyHeadlines RMAFC alleges lack of transparency in subsidy transactions By maritimemag June 9, 2023 ShareTweet 0 By Abiodun OBA …Says NNPCL N8.4trn fuel subsidy claims unconfirmed The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has emphasized that the lack of transparency in subsidy transactions and the global determination of crude oil prices make it unwise to sustain phantom subsidy payments at the expense of other critical sectors of the economy. The RMAFC Chairman, Mr Mohammed Bello Shehu, who emphasized that fuel subsidies pose a major challenge to the economic growth and development of the country, maintained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) claims of spending N8,480,204,553,608.13 for fuel subsidy since January 1, 2022, to date have not yet been reconciled. Reiterating support for the removal of fuel subsidy as announced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Shehu argued, “The country can no longer sustain fuel subsidies whose demerits far outweigh its benefits to the citizenry. It is saddening to note that since January 1, 2022, to date, the Nigerian 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.” Shehu recalled that the Commission has consistently expressed its position on the issue of subsidy removal since the time of the late Hamman Tukur, who chaired the Commission during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. As one of the 14 Federal Executive Bodies established by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), RMAFC has the constitutional mandate to monitor the accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account and provide fiscal efficiency advice to the Federal and State Governments. He hailed President Tinubu’s pronouncement on the removal of fuel subsidy during his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, emphasizing that it is the appropriate step in the right direction. Shehu highlighted that the removal will eliminate uncertainty surrounding the subsidy regime and free up funds for critical national development projects such as affordable transport systems, investment in the education and healthcare sectors, infrastructural development, and the resuscitation of domestic refineries to reduce dependence on imported fuel. The RMAFC Chairman also commended the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari for creating an enabling environment for the successful take-off of the world’s largest private refinery built by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. He expressed hope that the refinery’s operationalization would lead to hassle-free oil production and distribution in the absence of the subsidy regime. While praising President Tinubu for his courage and political will in addressing the issue of fuel subsidy, Shehu urged the new administration to devise strategies to cushion the impact of the new policy. He also called for deterrent measures to be taken against economic saboteurs who have contributed to the nation’s adversity in accordance with the existing laws of the federation. © 2023, maritimemag. All rights reserved.