Economic experts yesterday reacted to the controversial secret payment of subsidy on petrol by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
They spoke against the backdrop of admission by the Group Managing Director (GMD), Maikanti Baru that he was under instruction from President Buhari who is also the minister of petroleum resources to subsidize the cost of a liter of fuel put at over N171 as against the pump price of N143 – N145 per liter.
While a Development Economist,Odilim Enweagbara, described the secret expenditure, without appropriation, as a serious criminal offence, deserving of disbandment of the entire management team of the NNPC.
Another economist and former Managing Director of Unity Bank Nigeria PLC, Rislanudeen Muhammad, though agreed on the need for the National Assembly to investigate the subsidy payment without appropriation, he called for caution in handling the matter, so as not to jeopardize the efforts being deployed to address the ugly fuel supply situation experienced in the past three weeks in the country.
Also, the Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Public Accounts, Kingsley Chinda, has lambasted the Buhari led administration for the issue of subsidizing fuel in the polity.
Meanwhile, petrol scarcity persists in Lagos and other states of the federation, despite the NNPC’s claims that it had successfully cleared the queues in Lagos and Abuja.
Baru, had said at the weekend, that the corporation had eliminated petrol queues in Lagos and Abuja, while increasing truck out to other states.
But as at yesterday, many filling stations in Lagos and Abuja were still not selling petrol to customers. The few ones selling had long queues and were selling at N200 per litre.
Ironically, even the petrol retail outlets belonging to NNPC, were out of product and black marketers increasing activities of their illegal business around the filling stations.