The Forum of Commissioners for Finance in Nigeria has called the federal government to put accruals from the removal of the subsidy on petrol into federation account.
The advisory was given by David Olofu, outgoing chairman of the forum and the immediate past commissioner of finance in Benue state at a valedictory session held recently in Abuja.
Recall that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had said the federal government owes it the sum of N2.8 trillion spent on petrol subsidy.
The national oil firm has also not made any contribution to the federation account since January 2022, “withholding about N8.4 trillion as claimed subsidies”, according to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Speaking at the event, Olofu said many Nigerians have yearned for the removal of the subsidy on premium motor spirits (PMS), popularly known as petrol.
“We would like to sincerely commend the president for having that political will to do that, first day in office,” the former commissioner said.
“That is what we had been yearning for. He came, his first day in office, he was able to achieve that which we have always asked for.
“Nobody has any authority whatsoever to deduct any amount from federation revenue.
“So, I will align myself with the position of the constitution and recommend that all the accruals go into the federation account and let it be disbursed from the federation account.”
Olufu said he is confident that President Bola Tinubu would be able to come up with policies to cushion the effect of the removal of the subsidy on the economy.
“He has already started it by proposing a wage increase for workers but that has to be done alongside sub-nationals because the sub-nationals have the bulk of civil servants in this country,” he said.
“I believe he is on track but, apart from the wage increase, we also have to look at issues of infrastructure because we believe strongly that if we can wrap up infrastructure in this country, it will also help to improve the living standard and bring down the cost of living.”