The Senate on Wednesday slashed the allocation for petrol and kerosene subsidies from N200 billion to N100 billion and from N91.08 billion to N45.52 billion respectively, while it approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, for 2015-2017.
The chairman of the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning and Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ahmed Makarfi, said the slash was necessary considering the fall in oil prices at the international 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 asserted that the reduction in the subsidy allocations to petrol is an indication of the federal government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the entire oil and gas sector.
In his remarks, the Senate President, David Mark, highlighted the need for a budget cut across the three arms of government in view of the current economic reality.
Mark, who expressed satisfaction at the speedy passage of the MTEF, stated that the government must continue with its reform policy in order to promote the growth of the non-oil sector.
Speaking also at the session, the Deputy President of Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said the country must put a halt to the wasteful spending, adding that “we must engage in prudent spending in order to build our foreign reserve.”
The Deputy Senate President, who also stated that many countries had survived with fewer resources, opined that “Nigeria must look away from relying on oil and spending on oil wistfully.’’