Senate slashes subsidies on kerosene, petrol

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The Senate on Wednesday slashed the allocation for petrol and kerosene subsidies presented by the Ministry of Finance in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2015-2017.

The upper chamber, while approving the MTEF, slashed petrol subsidy from N200bn to N100bn.

It also reduced the subsidy allocated to kerosene from N91.08bn to N45.52bn.

Chairman of the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning; Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, said the reduction was due to the fall in oil prices at the international market.

“The joint committee recommends a downward review of subsidy payment for PMS from N200bn to N100bn and kerosene from N91.08bn to N45.52bn. This is as a result of the current low prices in crude oil prices at the international oil market.

“The relevant committees of the National Assembly should through oversight, ensure the full implementation of the proposed kerosene subsidy and the availability and of the product,” he said.

Makarfi also said the reduction in the subsidy allocations to petrol reflected government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the entire oil and gas sector.

In his remarks, the Senate President, David Mark, said there was the need for a budget cut across the three arms of government in view of the current economic reality.

Mark said the government must continue with its reform policy in order to promote the growth of the non-oil sector.

He expressed delight on the expeditious passage of the MTEF, adding that “this is the kind of cooperation required to build our nation.’’

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