The House of Reps has cut off the funding for oil subsidy as it passed the N4.493 trillion budget for 2015 yesterday.
Controversy was sparked up over the approval of the budget due to the lack of a provision for the oil subsidy, which was N200 billion as at last year.
Rep Opeyemi Bamidele, chairman of the House of Reps committee on legislative budget and research had this to say: “while I commend the leadership and Hon. members of the House of Representatives for passing the Year 2015 annual budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as proposed by the executive arm of Government, I wish to place on record my own concern as a Patriot and Stakeholder in our national quest for good governance and democratic transformation.
“Regrettably, no provision was made in the 2015 Appropriation Act for fuel subsidy. Other than a reduced amount of N21 Billion provided for SUREP, no other provision was made in the budget for subsidized welfare services.
“The most worrisome for me is the absence of provision for continued fuel subsidy. The political economy if this development and its grave implications must not be lost on all Stakeholders. This is more so when a new ruling party is coming into power by May 29, 2015.
“To my mind, this is definitely a booby trap for the incoming administration of Gen. Mohammed Buhari and I hope the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the incoming ruling party will understand the full implications of this and take immediate steps to let Nigerians know where it stands on this matter.
“Those who were suggesting within the APC that its incoming administration might withdraw fuel subsidy must be educated that they would be sending Nigerians a wrong signal capable of creating the impression that APC either deceived Nigerians to get their votes or had reneged on its electoral promise as a progressive party.
“The truth and reality of the situation is that the outgoing PDP administration has, through the Y2015 budget, removed oil subsidy and it must be made to accept responsibility for it rather than for the incoming APC administration to bask along in the euphoria of having won an election without realizing the booby trap into which they and the Nigerian people are walking into.
“This is a serious development and a defining moment that calls for the attention of all well meaning Nigerians at home and abroad. This is the first time in the last sixteen years of our civilian rule that a new political party will be taking over to form a Government and if care is not taken, this matter is capable of making the incoming Government morally dead on arrival except the issues are promptly dealt with in a way that the critical stakeholders, including the civil society, corporate Nigeria, political class and the generality of Nigerians will know the true state of affairs and who to hold responsible for the development.
“For the record and for posterity purposes, I am opposed to this sudden removal of fuel subsidy and I implore Nigerian patriots to be aware!”