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Subsidy: Halt talks with World Bank, IMF on reforms –OPS

…says govt not showing sense of accountability

 

As the debate over removal of subsidy and making N5000 monthly payment to certain class of Nigerians continues, two members of the organised private sector have advised the Federal Government to be cautious just as they warned that it also steered clear of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

They empathically stated that on fuel subsidy removal, government should discontinue any reform policy discussion with the two global institutions, saying Nigeria could treat her problems without much foreign inputs.

 

On the planned N5,000 palliative, they said it would be marred by lack of transparency and accountability, especially from database capturing. While giving their support to the removal of subsidy, they pointed out that the  country’s fragile economy could no longer sustain it.

 

Speaking in separate interviews with New Telegraph in Lagos, a former Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr. Muda Yusuf, and a former Chairman, Export Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and also the Director- General of the African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC), Dr. Obiora Madu, stated that the private sector group was worried over the entire issue as it will further be mired in controversy.

According to them, government’s plan to institute the monthly transport subsidy in the form of cash transfer of N5,000 to 40 million deserving Nigerians should be stopped because it’s adjudged to be in the same categories of market moni, trader moni, school feeding programme and others where billions of naira have been spent without proper accountability, transparency and accurate database capturing from government’s side till date.

 

Yusuf said: “The idea of the proposed N5,000 monthly transport fuel subsidy removal, I think, is to manage the policy transition from the regulated regime to deregulated regime and the minister did say, it’s just going to be for a period of six months to one year.

 

“So beyond that, I think more enduring reforms will take place. Reforms that will follow in terms of investing properly in infrastructure, encouraging a lot more capacity in terms of domestic refining. You know, investing a lot in hospitals, roads and basic amenities and all these things that can help the economy to grow capacity utilisation.

 

“But this one is just something to mitigate the immediate shocks of the subsidy removal. So after that am sure, more enduring reforms will follow. But it is also important first to equip the quality of the database because government is talking about 40 million deserving Nigerians

 

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