29th December, 2011
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has asked the federal government to either debunk, with facts and figures, a published informed analysis of the true prices of locally refined and imported fuel or apologise to Nigerians for cheating and deceiving them over the years.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also said the National Assembly, as the true representatives of the people, must summon the author of the analysis to a public hearing, as part of efforts to reveal the truth about the so-called fuel subsidy.
It said the analysis, by an obviously well-informed industry insider/analyst, showed that the true price of a litre of fuel refined in Nigeria is N33.36, while the true price of imported refined fuel from the government’s swap deal involving 275,000 barrels per day with Commodity Traders is N34.45/litre.
According to the report, that means the average true price of a litre of fuel is N34.03, compared to the current price of N65 per litre which the government claims it is subsidizing at N73/litre, and the proposed new price of about N140/litre when the subsidy is removed.
”This has confirmed what our party and many well-informed groups and individuals have always said, that there is no fuel subsidy, and that what the government has been claiming to be subsidizing is corruption and inefficiency.
”It has taken an industry insider to use facts and figures to debunk the government’s fuel subsidy claim, and to let Nigerians know that the government has indeed been overcharging them for fuel.
While it may not be realistic to ask the government to refund all Nigerians who have been massively cheated, we call on the government to first apologize to the citizenry for deceiving and cheating them, and then follow up by selling fuel to them at the right cost,” ACN said.
The party said the expose by the author of the article which, by the way, is a must-read for all Nigerians (thanks to the Guardian newspaper which published it on Wednesday, 28 Dec. 2011) is precisely the reason why it has been calling for a robust debate on the fuel subsidy issue, instead of the current choreographed consultations with ‘stakeholders’.
It also appealed to other newspapers to publish the report to make it more accessible to Nigerians and further the debate on the subsidy issue, before a government that is obviously under external pressure railroads the citizenry into paying almost five times the true price of fuel.