Muster Political Will to Stop Oil Subsidy,NSE urges Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Muster Political Will to Stop Oil Subsidy,NSE urges Buhari

Posted: Nov 11, 2015 at 8:29 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Innocent Oweh,Abuja

The Nigerian Society of Engineers has advised President Mohammadu Buhari to muster the political will and stop oil subsidy payments, so as to create pool funds that would in turn go into infrastructural development.

NSE President, Engr. Ademola Olorunfemi who gave this advise in Abuja on Tuesday,said other critical sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, steel and transportation were at a low ebb because several billions goes into subsidy payments.

According to Olorunfemi over N950billion had gone into subsidy payments on petroleum products in the last eleven months, the chunk of the figure went into private pockets with little or no effect on the masses.

He said government should also consider the re-introduction of tolling system for road maintenance, adding that the present structure which depended solely on budgetary allocation was not sufficient to provide the needed road infrastructure.

The 2015 conference of the NSE which has as its theme: National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan(NIIMP): Strategies for Implementation, is scheduled to hold in Ondo State, Akure next week.

“Instead of going on with the subsidy regime which constitutes a serious strain on government pulse, efforts must be made towards providing the needed conducive environment that would encourage investment into the sector.

“One critical factor to unlocking the sector’s potential is the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) which has been gathering dust in the National Assembly for several years,”he stated.

He said Nigeria was the only country in Africa that God gave oil, but still importing refined petroleum products.

“That tells you clearly, without being an expert, that something is wrong somewhere. We can’t continue to complain. There is a Petroleum Industry Bill that, for a personal selfish reason, has been at the National Assembly for God knows how many years.

“Whatever we need to do, the environment must be conducive for private investment. Foreign investors have options of where to put their monies, including Nigerians. We believe that the PIB, passed in any agreed form, will go a long way in resolving some of the incongruities in the sector.

“Subsidy should be removed. It does not benefit an average Nigerian. Private investors could be encouraged to build modular refineries. It does not have to involve piping refined products from Port Harcourt to Abuja. There are modular refineries that can serve this Central District or a local government area. That is one of the steps. In all of these, the guidelines must be there to assure investors that their investment is protected,”Olorunfemi stressed.