President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja
blamed past administrations for the current situation
in which Nigeria is forced to spend billions of Naira
annually on alleged subsidies for petroleum products.
Speaking at a meeting with the Chairman and
members of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and
Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), President Buhari
expressed the view that the escalation of petroleum
subsidy payments over recent years was due to the
deliberate neglect of the nation’s refineries, oil
pipelines and other related infrastructure to allow the
importation of petroleum products and corruption to
The President, who restated his huge disappointment
with the way Nigeria’s oil industry has been run since
he left office as Petroleum Minister and Military Head
of State, said that he was convinced that if the
development of the country’s domestic refining
capacity and petroleum products distribution network
had kept pace with national demand, there would not
have been any need for the huge subsidies currently
being paid to importers.
“They allowed the infrastructure to collapse so that
their cronies can steal by bringing in refined products
from overseas,” President Buhari said.
The President urged the chairman and members of the
RMAFC, who availed him of their view on the vexed
issued of petroleum subsidy payments, to go “back to
the drawing board” and come up with more humane
proposals to rescue ordinary Nigerians from the
“wicked manipulation” of the country’s oil industry by
corrupt operators.
President Buhari also warned that severe sanctions will
be visited on any individual or organisation that
violates the directive on the payment of all national
revenue into the Federation Account.
The President said that the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, the Nigerian Ports Authority and other
MDAs which previously relied on the laws establishing
them to retain all or part of revenues collected by them,
did so illegally and must now comply with the Nigerian
Constitution by paying all revenues to the Federation
President Buhari, who also chided the RMAFC for
approving excessive remunerations for some political
office holders, urged the commission to seek a proper
interpretation of its powers and address the public
outcry against the unreasonably high payments.


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