By David Onilede
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on the Federal Government to allow state governments take over the payment of petroleum subsidy based on the needs of their people.
The Chairman of the forum, Gov, Abubakar Yari made this call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
Yari spoke at the end of a meeting of the governors, the fourth in 2018.
He said that governors have decided to place this demand before the Federal Government as a way of putting a halt to the unprecedented increase in the petroleum subsidy bill.
Yari said that the governors have agreed to receive millions of litres of petroleum per day for which they were prepared to pay the appropriate subsidy based on the need of their people.
“They, therefore, called on the Federal Government to stop paying subsidy at the federal level because the increasing cost had now become unsustainable.
“The governors also called on the Federal Government to revoke the operation licences of all petrol stations located within ten kilometre radius of the nation’s borders.”
The chairman said the governors believed this had become necessary to stop the increasing wave of cross-border fuel smuggling, which the NNPC had blamed for the bloated cost of being sustained through the subsidy.
Yari said during their interface with the NNPC, the corporation had stated that fuel consumption had risen to 60million litres per day from the previous figure of 35million litres.
He said that the governors expressed amazement at this figure on which the payment of the subsidy was anchored.
The chairman, however, said the governors believed that if fuel stations close to the borders were closed down, the nation could be saved the agony of paying outrageous cost as subsidy on petroleum.