resident Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great displeasure with the way Nigeria’s oil industry has been run since he left office as the Petroleum Minister and Military Head of State in 1985.
The president on Tuesday, August 25, said those who ruled the country between then and now allowed the nation’s infrastructure such as the refineries, to collapse in order to give their colleagues the headway to steal by importing refined petroleum products.
President Buhari in a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, blamed the past administrations for the current situation in which the country is forced to spend billions of Naira annually on alleged subsidies for petroleum products.
The president stated this during a meeting he had with a delegation of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the increase in petroleum subsidy payments over recent years was due to the deliberate neglect of the nation’s refineries, oil pipelines and other related infrastructure to allow the importation of petroleum products and corruption to thrive.
Buhari said he was certain that if the development of the country’s domestic refining capacity and petroleum products distribution network had kept pace with national demand, there won’t have been any need for the huge subsidies currently being paid to importers.
He urged the chairman and members of RMAFC, to come up with more proposals to rescue Nigerians from what he described as the “wicked manipulation” of the country’s oil industry by corrupt operators.
The president also said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other MDAs which previously relied on the laws establishing them to retain all or part of revenues collected by them, did so illegally and must now comply with the Nigerian constitution by paying all revenues to the Federation Account.
In a recent report, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam has said that a new salary and allowance package for Nigeria’s senators and house of representative members will be made available by September.