Former President of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN has offered ideas on how to reduce the price of petrol to N300, he said some sectors can raise N100 trillion, adding that N32trn was lying under Ministry of Finance Incorporated.
He said: “I can give an idea of how to reduce the price of PMS today by half. To achieve that, NNPC should sell crude to many modular refineries in the country at a naira price. Why should NNPC sell our crude oil to Nigerian modular refineries in dollars? We must set aside a national crude oil scheme for local consumption.
“The price will drop to N300. I dare NNPC to try it; the price will drop. But if you sell it at the international market rate, how will those who are selling it locally source forex to buy and thereafter sell in Naira? They just have to jack up the price! That is the problem. It is important that the government understands how and when to make the right decision to help people and alleviate suffering.
“Will that not also amount to bringing back the subsidy that the government is calling off since the price of the crude is dictated by the foreign market, where a large chunk of it goes and serves as our foreign earnings; therefore, selling it in naira will amount to subsidising the difference.
“In about 10 sectors I have identified, we can raise N100 trillion, and our budget is only N22 trillion. Even when I engaged the former Minister of Finance, I asked her, “Do you know there is the Ministry of Finance Incorporated,” which is a body in charge of all investments and government assets? When she looked at what I was saying and did preliminary reports, she established that N32 trillion was lying down there.
“And since she made that statement over a year ago, nobody has asked where the N32 trillion is. Yet we say we are broke! That is enough to fund our budget for the year and have a surplus. So, the government needs to do some serious thinking. It is not enough to be a minister; you must work hard.”