Senate opposes removing the fuel subsidy in the 2023 budget

Posted by

Some senators claim that the National Assembly won’t allow President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the anticipated subsidy reduction at the end of his tenure in June 2023.

The MPs said that discontinuing the program in June would provide serious challenges for the administration that would succeed Buhari.

In his N20.51 trillion budget proposal for the National Assembly’s joint session on Friday, the President highlighted that gasoline subsidies would end after the first half of the fiscal year 2023.

The 2023 Budget included N3.6 trillion for fuel subsidies from January to June, according to the 2023–2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The N3.6 trillion subsidy proposal was reduced to N1.7 trillion by the Joint Senate Committee on Finance and Economic Planning, which worked on the document, but the Senate rejected it in plenary.

However, the House of Representatives approved the committee’s N1.7 trillion recommendations.

Buhari suggested, however, that the subsidy regime should cease on May 29, 2023, with his government, when he presented the 2023 budget estimates to the joint session of the two houses of the National Assembly last Friday.

Speaking on the development, some senators predicted that the federal parliament would push back the deadline for the subsidy removal to the end of 2023.

They pointed out that withdrawing the subsidies right before a new administration assumed office may lead to major problems.

The senators promised to revise the budget plan such that December 2023 would be the final date before subsidy payments would no longer be made.

Senator Chukwuka Utazi of the Peoples Democratic Party, who represents the Enugu North Senatorial District, declared that his colleagues would not permit the subsidy system to cease in the middle of the following year.

The CEO had suggested that the oil subsidies would stop in late May of the next year, the man added.

“For us in the Senate, we handled the situation and determined it was not practical while passing the MTEF/FSP.

“We contended that making it a year is preferable. It will cease in December of the following year, as promised.

“We don’t want it to provide a difficulty for the administration that would succeed President Buhari, so this is why.

“We don’t want Nigerians to immediately begin criticizing the new administration.

“It is so preferable to continue it through December of the next year. We have the authority and have already made that decision in the MTEF/FSP because the budget is currently before the National Assembly.

According to Utazi, how the government responds to oil theft in the Niger Delta will decide how successfully the 2023 appropriation law is implemented.

Senator Jibrin Barau, the chairman of the Senate’s appropriations committee, also declared that the Senate would take another look at the matter.

President Muhammadu Buhari proposed two scenarios, the speaker stated. The first step is to raise funds to make it expire in June of next year.

The second possibility is that it will finish in December but there won’t be any money left over to pay for capital projects. According to what was provided on Friday, it was planned to cease in June of the next year.

“We have appropriation authority as a parliament.

Senator Betty Apiafi, chair of the Senate Committee on Women’s Affairs, also gave Nigerians assurances that the National Assembly would take appropriate action about the subsidy issue.

“Revenue is falling since over 80% of our revenue is being stolen,” said Apiafi. We are losing one million barrels of crude oil every day, according to the MTEF FSP data.

“There had been two scenarios. First, no capital project would be necessary if we fully subsidized gasoline the following year. However, if we provide a subsidy for a period of six months, there will be funding for a capital project.

Nobody completes a project in its entirety in a single year. Nigerians elected us in order for us to safeguard the country and ensure its prosperity, so what are we doing by allowing our money to be stolen?

“We don’t have safety, an economy, and we currently lack a budget. To increase money, the government needs to come up with ideas.

“The Buhari administration borrowed funds, which choked the economy. They must explain to us how they intend to increase the revenue stock in order to give funding.

“They ought to explain what they did to stop oil theft. What kind of performance plan had they implemented for the GOEs? What are they doing about the erroneously issued waivers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *