Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, has faulted the claim of the Federal Government that it was subsidizing fuel being used in the country. Also, Falae faulted the new electoral bill awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent, saying it would not solve electoral malpractices in the country.
Speaking during the launch of a book titled: “From writing to Political Office” written by former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, in Ondo State, Mr. Dayo Awude, the octogenarian Afenifere leader said the government should introduce subsidies on agriculture to keep farmers on the farms. Falae said the issue of fuel subsidy in the country was being exaggerated, saying the price that should be paid for oil must be based on the price of mining the crude oil per barrel, the cost for refining it, and the traditional profit margin in petroleum products and not on importation.
His words: “Mining, refining, and profit margin should determine the pump price of petroleum products. If you do it that way, you find out that there is no subsidy. There is a subsidy when you go to New York, and take the price of petroleum in New York, which is the international price you bring and say, there is a subsidy. “The argument they put forward which is unacceptable, petroleum is an international product, so we must stay with the international price, but we are a producer of petroleum, so if I were president of Nigeria, I will insist that the price we pay for petroleum is mining price, refining price plus profit, but it is more or less a conspiracy, call it consensus if you want to be nice, between the oil producers and the government, that pricing of crude oil should be based on international price. “Since God has given us crude oil, we should enjoy what we called the endowment benefit that you have- crude oil, we should not be paying the price that another country that has not got oil is paying, that we have it here should be an advantage, it should not be the same price others are paying.” Falae, however, advised the Federal Government to subsidize agriculture as farming without government subsidy would not be profitable. Pointedly, he said the farmers must be given subsidies to remain on the farms.