The $800 million loan purportedly secured by the Nigerian government from the World Bank will not address the country’s fuel subsidy issue, according to the Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA).
In a statement, the group’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, alleged that the loan is a ploy by the bank and government officials to further plunge the nation into debt and provide opportunities to divert public funds under the guise of palliatives.
Before eliminating fuel subsidies, he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to clean up the country’s petroleum sector and refineries of corruption.
He voiced concern over the condition of the nation’s petroleum industry and criticised the government’s plan to eliminate fuel subsidies without addressing corruption and rehabilitating the nation’s ageing refineries.
He stated that corruption and poor management have afflicted the Nigerian petroleum industry, resulting in the poor condition of Nigeria’s refineries.
According to him, the government’s failure to modernise the refineries has led to an excessive reliance on imported fuel, which has contributed to the high price of fuel and the need for subsidies.
He advised the government to take concrete measures to revamp the refineries and rid the sector of corruption.
This includes implementing policies that promote transparency and accountability, ensuring a transparent process in the awarding of contracts, appointing officials to oversee the revamp of the refineries, and investigating the utilisation of all previous Turn Around Maintenance allocations to the refineries since 1999.