By Tordue Salem
ABUJAâ€”Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Rep. Aro Bamidele(PDP/Yagba/Kogi) has revealed that from 2003 to date, the Federal Government has spent about N2trillion on subsidy for petroleum products.
Mr. Bamidele, who threw his weight behind a full deregulation of the energy sector, said the plan of the United States to cut its dependence on the Countryâ€™s crude oil market by 2012 will impact positively on the masses of the Country.
The lawmaker who was briefing journalists in Abuja on the downsides to fuel subsidy, said his Committee and majority of the legislators were not happy that government was still throwing the tax payersâ€™ money at marketers of petroleum products, when majority of Nigerians were not buying at the subsidized price.
â€œBetween 2003-2010, it is obvious that the Federal Government has spent between N1.7trillion to N2trillion on subsidy of petroleum products and the best way to avoid subsidy is deregulation, so that government can use this money for infrastructure.
â€œThis subsidy is paid by government to importers of petroleum products, so that these products can be available at a subsidized rate to everybody to use, but to get these products to buy at the subsidized rate of N65 is difficult for people in the states.
â€œThis price is being eroded away by some few individuals. Even when these products come, marketers go ahead to sell the products at exorbitant prices. Because when you include their profit margin as at last month, what they would be losing is just N9, but they would come to the government and claim N66, getting a margin of excess profit of N36 OR N46 per litre, even when government has subsidized it from the pockets of tax payersâ€, he said.