Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governors of the 36 states of the federation want states authorities rather than the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to determine how much is paid as subsidy by the Federal Government.
According to them, individual states will now determine the quantity of petroleum products consumed in their territories as a basis for calculating the subsidy to be paid.
The National Economic Council (NEC), led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, expected to endorse the move. The governors who met Wednesday night on the platform of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) at their Maitama, Abuja office, are uncomfortable with the amount NNPC is claiming to pay as subsidy as well as the Corporation’s stated quantity of local consumption. With dwindling accruals to states, NNPC has told the governors that it is now paying subsidy on 60 million litres daily consumption up from 33 million litres a few months ago.
Briefing newsmen Wednesday night at the end of the NGF meeting, which ended at 11:30pm its Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said, “if states say our demand is 30 million litres, you cannot say you brought 60 million litres for us.
“We are taking every situation carefully so that we don’t endanger the security situation of the country and at same time, we do not play into the hands of NNPC.”
He said, however, that the governors will not be pushing for the investigation of NNPC as the move may backfire.
Yari explained: “You see, we are in the hands of these people (NNPC) and we are trying to be cautious. Not just NNPC, even Nigerians are not helping matters because when there is shortfall in the product, everybody will start making noise.
And you will not know why there is shortfall. “If we start to investigate, these people will create chaos that we will regret and Nigerians will not look at the damage from the base, but rather, they will start accusing government of laxity or not doing what it is supposed to be doing.
“So, it’s not about investigation. It’s about knowing what’s going to happen to future supply. And this supply, the destination must be set. That’s why we gave the states the responsibility to go back and ascertain the quantity needed by each state.”