The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Tuesday, accused independent oil marketers of blackmailing the country on petrol subsidy payments which has led to perennial nationwide fuel scarcities.
Saraki made the accusation after the approval of the N574,532,726,857 billion 2015 Supplementary Budget of which N522,258,934,505 billion was approved for payment of subsidy claims.
“On the issue of fuel subsidy, as Nigerians, we must say no to this blackmail by marketers, we must put an end to this issue.
“A lot of us in the past have spoken on this matter and I think we are doing this for the interest of Nigerians but I think it is high time we say no to this blackmail and end this hardship.” Saraki said.
He said the Senate will revisit the subsidy regime when considering the 2016 budget.
“I think the committee on Petroleum Resources both downstream and upstream as well as committee on anti-corruption should oversight and make necessary recommendation to the Senate for further legislative action on this matter.
Earlier, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume faulted subsidy claims by oil marketers. “The only people that believe in the subsidy figures are the people claiming it…. the Senate is being blackmailed, we are left with no option.” he said.
The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio submitted that in view of the reported fraud in the subsidy regime, President Muhammadu Buhari should scrap subsidy in 2016.
“I believe that from 2016 part of the change this administration has promised should be zero [fuel] subsidy” Akpabio said.