The Federal Government spent about N634billion to subsidise kerosene in the last three years, the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum, Downstream,Dakuku Peterside, has said.
Speaking during a seminar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in Lagos yesterday, Peterside said the figure is equivalent of one- third of the nation’s yearly expenditure on capital projects.
Giving the breakdown of the amount which he said was spent over three years, he disclosed that about N110 billion spent in 2010; N324 billion in 2011 and N200 billion was expended in 2012, arguing that the subsidy has never benefited the masses who have been suffering to get the product at the regulated price.
He said the nation will continue to experience scarcity of kerosene due to the existence of non-functional refineries, vandalism of crude pipelines, corruption and the multi-purpose usage of the product.
He said the many usage to which Kerosine is put, has often led to its diversion and hoarding by opeartors and dealers.
Peterside said kerosene that was supposed to sell for N40.90k per liter, is presently selling for between N110 and N150 per liter, urging that consumers should switch over to the usage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which he said is clean energy that reduces environmental cost and degradation.
He therefore enjoined governments at all levels to promote the usage of LPG as cooking gas, proving that the subsidy spent of kerosene over the years has not helped matters.
He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied about 2.92 billion liters of kerosene from September 2012 to August 2013, but the product was not available in the markets.
“So something is wrong somewhere. How can we be spending on what does not benefit the masses? he queried, saying that we need to be forward looking and encourage gas usage, so that what is spent on subsidy can be used for some other developmental programmes,” he said.
Peterside, said reliance on kerosene has retarded the expected growth of the country to carbon free economy, compared to other developing countries.
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