RMAFC Supports Subsidy Removal, Cites Economic Growth As Key Factors.

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The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has expressed its unwavering support for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent announcement regarding the removal of subsidies during his inaugural address.

RMAFC Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Bello Shehu, hailed the decision as long overdue and crucial to the economic growth and development of the country.

In a statement released by Mr. Shehu, he emphasized that the Commission had consistently advocated for the removal of subsidies since the time of late Hamman Tukur, who chaired the Commission during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Commission’s position stems from its belief that the continued payment of substantial amounts to a privileged few under the guise of subsidies severely depletes the nation’s scarce resources.

This issue is compounded by the fact that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), a significant revenue source for the Federation Account, has halted contributions due to the opaque and ambiguous fuel subsidy regime.

As one of the fourteen Federal Executive Bodies established by the constitution, RMAFC is mandated to monitor revenue accruals and disbursements from the Federation Account.

Additionally, the Commission advises both the federal and state governments on fiscal efficiency and methods to enhance revenue generation.

Mr. Shehu hailed President Tinubu’s pronouncement on May 29, 2023, to remove fuel subsidies as a masterstroke that breaks the subsidy payment cycle.

He asserted that the nation can no longer sustain the demerits of fuel subsidies, which far outweigh their benefits to the citizenry.

Furthermore, Mr. Shehu highlighted that since January 1, 2022, the NNPCL has not contributed to the Federation Account due to claimed subsidy payments.

The alleged amount withheld by the NNPCL for this period is a staggering N8,480,204,553,608.13, as reported by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

The reconciliation of this amount is currently underway by the RMAFC, OAGF, and NNPCL.

With non-transparent subsidy transactions and crude oil prices determined globally, Mr. Shehu argued that sustaining phantom subsidy payments to the detriment of critical sectors of the economy would be unwise.

He highlighted that removing fuel subsidies would eliminate the uncertainty surrounding the subsidy regime and free up funds for essential national development projects.

These projects include the provision of an affordable transport system, investments in the education sector, improvements in healthcare and infrastructure, and the revitalization of domestic refineries to reduce dependence on imported fuel.

The Commission’s Chairman commended former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for creating an enabling environment for the successful establishment of the world’s largest private refinery by Alh. Aliko Dangote, the wealthiest Black man globally.

Mr. Shehu believes that when the refinery becomes operational, the country will witness a new era of hassle-free oil production and distribution without the burden of the subsidy regime.

While lauding President Tinubu for his courage and political will in addressing the fuel subsidy issue, Mr. Shehu called on the new administration to devise strategies to mitigate the effects of the new policy.

He also emphasized the need for deterrent measures to hold accountable all economic saboteurs who have contributed to the nation’s adversity, in accordance with existing laws.

The RMAFC’s endorsement of the subsidy removal further solidifies the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and development, as well as addressing the challenges posed by subsidy payments.