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Here’s why Peter Obi believes fuel subsidy is an organised crime in Nigeria

Obi believes it is outrageous to spend trillions of Naira on fuel subsidy annually.
Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party. [Vanguard]
Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party has again maintained that fuel subsidy payment is an organised crime in Nigeria, saying it’s largely non-existent.

Obi doubled down on this claim on Monday, October 24, 2022, during an interview on Arise TV.

The Federal Government of Nigeria spends trillions of Naira on fuel subsidies annually to keep the price of Premium Motor Spirit better known as petrol affordable for Nigerians.

Recently, the APC Presidential Campaign Council spokesman, Festus Keyamo said the FG currently spends between N250b to N300b monthly to subsidise petrol for Nigerians.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Nigerians consume 66 million liters of fuel daily.

But Obi believes it is outrageous to spend trillions of Naira on fuel subsidy annually, saying Nigerians do not consume the amount of fuel the government pays subsidy for.

Comparing Nigeria and Pakistan, an Asian country with a population of over 230 million, Obi said it’s impossible for Nigerians to consume 66 million liters of petrol daily when Pakistans consume 22 million daily.

“I have said that subsidy in Nigeria is organised crime repeatedly, by that I mean 50 percent of it does not exist and the studies approve that. We are about 220 million like I said, Pakistan is about the same size, there is no way we can be consuming about 66 million liters of fuel when Pakistan is consuming about 21 or 22 million (Liters) and we have the same population.

“They have more roads (from my own little studies) than we have. We have similar numbers of vehicles, So, what are we doing with the extra. If they are doing 22 million, how can we be doing 66 million? It’s worrisome, these are things we need to look into. If you remove this, you’ll find out that quantity you’re dealing with is less”.

Recall that in September, Obi while speaking at the second in the series of Private Sector Economic Forum of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) maintained that the Federal Government is behind oil theft in the country.

He emphasised that “Payment of oil subsidy as currently practiced in Nigeria is an organised crime. We need an aggressive production of local refining”.

Meanwhile, Obi’s rivals, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in their manifestos said they would remove fuel subsidies in stages.

Already, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure would come to an end in May 2023 has allocated N3.6tn to fund fuel subsidies for the first half of next year.

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