National Conference approves subsidy removal

Delegates at the national conference have approved the call for the removal of subsidy on petroleum products but with a clause that the government must build new refineries and repair existing ones.

The position followed amendments on the recommendations proposed by the Committee on Public Finance. Debate on the subsidy removal started on Monday with over 50 delegates speaking on the issue.

Delegates said that only when these and other conditions were met should the government be free to remove subsidy on petroleum products.

Before the delegates commenced deliberations on Tuesday, one of the delegates narrated his narrow shave with death. He said that a viehicle he was in was ambushed in a town in Borno by members of the Boko Haram sect. After narrating his experience, a motion to have the number of delegates that will speak on the report of the Committee on Public Finance be reduced led to a debate.

When it was time for the recommendations to be considered, as expected the issue of fuel subsidy was a key point that took some time to resolve.
“The government shall, within a period of five years, build new refineries and repair existing ones to a full capacity utilisation,” a delegate said.
After a prolonged deliberation, the delegates supported the removal of the subsidy with conditions, which they insisted the government must meet.

Another motion had to do with tackling the issue of corruption in the country. Deliberations on the issues was considered very important as the delegates said corruption had contributed to the increasing insecurity, dilapidating infrastructure and the poor standard of education amongst others.

With that report out of the way, the conference moved on to the report of the committee on Civil Society and Labour, but the conference leadership adjourned for the day after the chairman of the committee gave a summary of the report