SELECTIVE AMNESIA OF THE NASS AND THE REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY
Now selective amnesia is a process where you can conveniently decide what you want to remember and what you want to forget. Beautiful women have it all the time… particularly if the guy in question is not good-looking/influential/ has Dangote’s Bank Balance… etc. and yes I’m speaking from experience.
A couple of days ago we were told that the decision to remove fuel subsidy was not communicated by the presidency to the National Assembly (NASS). Now I’m curious here… the Presidency submitted a budget for approval, my assumption (correct me if I’m wrong) is that before any budget is passed – it would go through a stringent process of approval (scrutinized line by line if need be) by the NASS.
In the 2015 budget, you had a line item called SURE-P of N102.5 billion which was your budgeted expenditure for fuel subsidy – the fact that we spent over N737 billion against a budget of 102.5Billion is a topic of discussion for another day. But the fact remains that it was in the 2015 budget!!
The Presidency and the Minister of State for Petroleum have said at various times that fuel subsidy will go in 2016. Now the 2016 budget was presented for approval where there was ABSOLUTELY NO PROVISION FOR SUBSIDY… in any way, manner or form.
Now I’m confused here, if there’s no provision for fuel subsidy in the budget which is currently being reviewed by NASS and we’ve been told subsidy will go in 2016… how has this not been communicated? We should remember that no law backs the practice of subsidizing fuel products in Nigeria (i.e. the 1999 Constitution, the Price Control Act and the Petroleum Act). So how can you need legislation to remove a practice that is not enforceable by law?
I think we should stop having selective amnesia and realize that this Government has the political will to follow through on its pronouncements. It’s not business as usual anymore – Gone are the days when subsidy that you didn’t account for ends up being over 15% of your total budget. Did I hear an AMEN!
WHEN IT RAINS… IT POURS?... CBN now to allocate Forex to end users
CBN is taking this step because our foreign reserves have dropped to its lowest level in eight months $29.101 billion (as at Dec 30, 2015). It has said it will now allocate foreign exchange (forex) directly to end-users (they won’t do it through the banks anymore) with preference given to matured Letters of Credit, importation of petroleum products, raw materials, and machinery.
I’m of the opinion this will only preserve forex stability in the interbank market, while making it difficult for everyone else to source forex. As a consequence, the exchange currently between N262 – 280 will likely worsen! N300/$1 here we come… (I’m crying… in French)?