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Saraki advocates for fuel subsidy removal
Senator Bukola Saraki calls for fuel subsidy removal

Saraki advocates for fuel subsidy removal

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and former Governor of Kwara State, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki has called on the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari to completely remove fuel subsidy.

The Senator representing Kwara Central stated that the country was losing a total of $2 billion to fake fuel subsidy operators, arguing that fuel subsidy management in the country was a very big platform for fraud. He noted that with the removal, normalcy can then be restored to the petroleum sector

Saraki who is a leading candidate for the Senate Presidency of the incoming Upper Legislative House, accused government of issuing import licenses to very bogus number of companies which are being used by oil marketers and government officials to rip off the national treasury on a yearly basis

According to Saraki, it would be better to remove the fuel subsidy and deliver the sector and the citizenry from the grip of racketeers, who would never allow things to work well because of their personal benefit, adding that subsidy in itself was never a problem to the country but the bad management of the subsidy regime was the problem, and stated ” it had been turned into a huge racket that created the lingering crisis in the oil sector”.

In his words “No matter what is happening now, if you go back to look at it, the major issue that has affected us is the subsidy management. We are talking of about a minimum of over $32 billion wasted on it over the last five to six years. It has impacted on our exchange rate, it has impacted our infrastructure and there is no money for capital projects, it is unsustainable.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Senator Saraki will be calling for fuel subsidy removal. As far back as 2012, he sponsored a motion on the floor of the Senate on the need to end the fuel subsidy regime which he said was a conduit pipe for fraud and  a wastage of national resources.

Senator Saraki who is well-respected among his peers for his cerebral contribution to discussions on the floor, also sponsored the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Amendment Bill 2012 which is aimed at putting a halt to oil spills in the Niger Delta, the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill 2012, and is also a strong supporter of the Climate Change Commission Bill 2013.

As the Senate Committee Chairman on Environment and Ecology, Dr. Bukola Saraki has raised questions on some environmental issues that needed urgent national attention. He spoke up and even intervened in the lead poisoning incident that occurred in Zamfara State where the lives of about 1,500 were in danger.

 

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