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 N200 billion to N100 billion.
It also reduced the subsidy allocated to kerosene from N91.08 billion to N45.52 billion.
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 N200 billion to N100 billion and kerosene from N91.08 billion to N45.52 billion.
“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 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 it 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.’’
Also, the Deputy President of Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said the country must learn from wasteful spending of the past, adding “we must engage in prudent spending in order to build our foreign reserve.’’
He said that many countries had survived with fewer resources, adding that “Nigeria must look away from relying on oil and spending on oil wistfully.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is the first time the ministry captured allocation for kerosene subsidy in the budget.
The provision may not be unconnected with ripples generated by the investigation into alleged non-remittances of some funds in the sector.