By Austin Ogwuda
Asaba—DELTA State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday defended the position of the state governors in backing the removal of fuel subsidy, pointing out that the governors were the ones that raised alarm, calling for the stoppage of the subsidy as it was about affecting the earnings of the states adversely.
He stated this while addressing Christian leaders at Government House, Asaba, yesterday, on the need to restrain their followers from taking laws into their hands over the killings perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect in the North.
He said he had suggested to the Federal Government, the need to improve on the technology used by illegal bunkerers to enable the nation refine petrol at cheaper cost.
He said: “From what is happening, everybody seems to agree that the removal of fuel subsidy is necessary. This subsidy has been on for several years but in the last two years it has become an issue. Before then the Federal Government was deducting about N200 billion to N300 billion per year for fuel subsidy.
But in 2010 it rose to about N600 billion and the plan was to remove it by March last year. So, the Federal Government budgeted N240 billion but we noticed, as governors, that as at July they were still deducting and by September they had deducted N1.3 trillion. And they usually deducted it at source even before they brought it for sharing.
“So we (governors) raised an alarm that the way the Federal Government was going about it, the states might not even have money to share and we needed an explanation on the way the money was being taken.”