The Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, Friday has given reasons behind the upper chamber’s speedy approval of President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for an additional N162 billion for fuel subsidy citing the overall security implication of the request and of Nigerians respectively.
While noting that part of the accusation against president Jonathan last year by the National Assembly was that he spent over and above the amount appropriated to subsidy without recourse to it, he said this time, the President must be commended for adhering to the rule of law in seeking the approval of the subsidy.
According to him, what President Jonathan did now was to bring that appropriation to the lawmakers, thereby drawing the attention of the lawmakers to the fact that this is what it cost us to subsidize petroleum for the year.
“We considered it, that since this was the only item he requested for and since in my opinion what the President did is less of an economic matter but more of a national security imperative, because the application and availability of energy and oil in the country is not just about economy, but national security imperative question. The application and the availability of energy and oil in a country is not just the economic convenience of the citizens but the national security action because you should know out of frustration of commuters at a season like this you see queues with over 300 vehicles in a line in one filling station.” he said.
Enang also drew attention to the implication of fuel scarcity on national security considering the over-bearing influence the oil cabal has on the business. “…the cabal have formed such a strong union that they can hold the government to ransom. Some of them have petrol in their tank farms or ship they refuse to release their products because they are being owed and they don’t mind paying demurrage instead of bringing it in and selling to Nigerians. It is therefore in the interest of Nigerians that we approved the supplementary budget of N162 billion.”