President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed past administrations for the current situation where Nigeria is forced to spend billions of Naira annually on alleged subsidies for petroleum products. Speaking at a meeting with the Chairman and Members of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), On Tuesday,
President Buhari said the escalation of 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. He restated his huge disappointment with the way Nigeria’s oil industry has been run since he left office as Petroleum Minister and Military Head of State. He expressed his conviction that if the development of the country’s domestic refining capacity and petroleum products distribution network had kept pace with national demand, there would not have been any need for the huge subsidies currently being paid to importers. The president, therefore, urged the Chairman of the RMAFC, who availed him of their view on the vexed issued of petroleum subsidy payments, to go “back to the drawing board and come up with more humane proposals to rescue ordinary Nigerians from the wicked manipulation of the country’s oil industry by corrupt operators”. He also warned that severe sanctions would be visited on any individual or organisation that violates the directive on the payment of all national revenue into the federation account.