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Falana Tells Nigerians To Ask Tinubu If FG Still Pays Fuel Subsidy



Femi Falana, a human rights Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has urged President Bola Tinubu’s administration to be transparent about the purported resurgence of the fuel subsidy programme.

Recall that Robert Dickerman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pinnacle Oil, recently asserted in a statement that the President Tinubu-led government has continued to pay N1 trillion each month for petrol subsidy.

Reacting to the development, Falana suggested Tinubu should be transparent about the status of the economic strategy rather than pressuring Nigerians to bear the pain brought on by the elimination of fuel subsidy.

Falana also questioned why the World Bank, IMF, and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, or NNPCL, had not replied to multiple requests for reimbursement for subsidy payments.

He said, “During his inauguration on May 29, 2003, Tinubu announced the end of fuel subsidies and total deregulation of petroleum products.

“But at the recently concluded Nigeria International Energy Summit, NIES, held in Abuja, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, Mr Robert Dickerman, revealed that the Nigerian Government still pays N1 trillion every month for petrol subsidy,” the statement reads.

“Mr Dickerman, who made the disclosure while participating in a panel discussion, disclosed that a significant subsidy is still in place, adding that this has contributed to the affordable price of the product and potentially fueling smuggling activities to neighbouring countries.

“On its own part, the World Bank has alleged partial return of fuel subsidy in a report presented in Abuja last December.

“In justifying its claim, the World Bank said that based on the official exchange rate, the petrol should sell for around N750 per litre and not the N650 currently being paid by Nigerians.

“Curiously, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited has not deemed it fit to deny the serious allegation that fuel subsidy has been restored.

“Since there is no provision for fuel subsidy in the 2023 and 2024 Appropriation Acts, the federal government should, without any further delay, confirm or deny the serious allegation and end the opacity surrounding the importation of fuel from foreign countries.”