SERAP threatens to sue Tinubu over disbursement of N400bn subsidy savings

THE Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) has demanded that Nigerian President Bola Tinubu publish spending details of the N400 billion saved as a result of removal of fuel subsidy over the past four weeks.

In a post via its Twitter page on Sunday, July 2, SERAP threatened to institute legal actions against the President if the details demanded are not made available.

SERAP also addressed a letter to Tinubu dated July 1, stating that there were concerns about embezzlement of the funds and making the information public would promote accountability and reduce the risk of corruption.

“Your government has a legal responsibility to ensure that the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are spent solely for the benefit of the 137 million poor Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of the removal.

“Publishing the details of the spending of the N400bn and other savings from the removal of subsidy would also ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties including the management of the funds.”

The organisation said transparency would ensure that Nigerians, who have been affected by the hike in cost of petrol, benefit from the funds and overcome the effects of the removal.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.

“Unless the government is transparent and accountable to Nigerians in how it spends the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol, the removal will continue to undermine the rights of Nigerians, and increase their vulnerability to poverty and social deprivation,” SERAP noted.

While delivering his inaugural speech, Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy, after which fuel prices surged by about 200 per cent.






     

     

    The surge in fuel costs resulted in some hardship for Nigerians, as transport costs and other businesses have been affected by the hike.

    On Friday, June 30, oil marketers said that the Federal Government has saved N400 billion as a result of the removal, based on calculations by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Mele Kyari on Nigerians monthly subsidy expenditure.

    “Today, by law and the provisions of the Appropriation Act, there is a subsidy on the supply of petroleum products, particularly PMS imports into our country. In current data terms, three days ago, the landing cost was around N315/litre.

    “Our customers are here; we are transferring to each of them at N113/litre. That means there is a difference of close to N202 for every litre of PMS we import into this country. In computation, N202 multiplied by 66.5 million litres, multiplied by 30 will give you over N400bn of subsidy every month,” Kyari was reported to have said in February 2023.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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