House of Representatives yesterday rejected a motion seeking the removal of fuel subsidy by the incoming administration.
The lawmakers rather argued that instead of jettisoning the policy, the incoming administration should sustain it.
The resolution was sequel to a motion entitled: “The Recurring Crisis of Fuel Subsidy,” sponsored by Hon. Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi).
In his lead debate, Karimi said there was need for a “permanent solution” to the lingering nationwide fuel crisis.
He pointed out that for the incoming administration to be successful, it must “muster the necessary political will” to end the fuel subsidy regime.
“As we speak, PMS sells in most places at the rate of N120 and N150 depending on where it is available which is against the official pump price of N87.” Karimi stated.
The Deputy House Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, who argued in support of the fuel subsidy removal, said the policy had become a drain on the country’s economy.
Ogor, however, appealed to government to redirect fuel subsidy votes to other priority areas.
According to him, “How long will we continue to spend money we don’t have? How long will we allow oil marketers hold us to ransom?
“When will our refineries work? The money that we spend on fuel subsidy can be channelled to other crucial areas.”
Speaking against the motion, Hon. Osai Nicolas Osai (PDP, Delta) said the timing of the motion was wrong and belated as the outstanding subsidy payment causing the fuel scarcity had been dealt with.
“I disagree with this motion because it is coming very late and standing on a very weak premise. The issue involved has to do with subsidy payment.
“The Minister of Finance and marketers were in a meeting which ended yesterday (Monday) and that matter has been resolved. So the House would be wasting resources and energy in trying to dabble into this matter.” Osai said.
When the motion was put to a voice vote by the presiding Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, majority of the lawmakers rejected the motion.
It would be recalled that a total of N145billion subsidy components were embedded in the 2015 Budget, which the House passed on Thursday, April 23, 2015.
These were made up of N100billion for subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS popularly known as petrol and N45billion for kerosene.

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