Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday, said the decision to remove or retain fuel subsidy is not in the hands of State Governors.
Mr Fayemi made the remark during a press briefing after a meeting of the Governors.
The Ekiti State Governor said the forum has “concluded to engage the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on how best to address this issue without causing any disaffection but with a view to salvaging the Nigerian economy for the Nigerian people.”
However, he argued that the decision wasn’t one for the Governors to make.
“For us at the forum, it is a matter that is a going concern. We don’t have a definite issue on it because it is left to the Petroleum Industry Act. It is not for us. NNPC is now a private company and the company should decide what it wants to do with the price of its products. It shouldn’t really be the business of Governors.
“It is not up to sub-nationals to decide on what happens to PMS pricing. It is an entirely exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.
“However, we are critical stakeholders and we are members of the National Economic Council, so we contribute to debates in the Council.”
The Federal Government has said it plans to discontinue the payment of fuel subsidy by June but the move has been rejected by several stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Also on Thursday, former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar raised concerns over the removal of fuel subsidy.
General Abdulsalami, who was speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, said the country is facing challenges on multiple fronts and a fuel subsidy removal will only compound the situation.
“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty,” he said.