The National Economic Council will soon decide whether to allow NNPC to continue paying subsidy for petroleum or not, chairman of Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulazeez Yari said on Thursday. Yari, who made this known while responding to questions after the NEC meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja, said the governors would take a decision on the subsidy in June.
All state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant ministers make up the council. He said the governors’ position was informed by the huge amount of money being spent by the NNPC as payment for fuel subsidy annually.
“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable,” the governor of Zamfara told the media.
“Working with the governors so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways.
“For instance, if you say we paid N800 billion subsidy, you will ask who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at infrastructure development and capital programme of the Federal Government, it is about N1.1 trillion, almost 70 per cent of what you are spending on developing the economy.
“If there is no infrastructure development then you cannot talk about development of the economy. N800 billion is a huge amount that we must look at it, who is benefiting from it.
“So we are coming up with a strategy, we are going to meet in the month of May and June. By next meeting, we will definitely come up with a position of the government at both level of volume of what is being brought into the country and what the state and Federal Government collaborate to check.’’
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Senate Orders CBN To Suspend ATM Card Maintenance Charges, ATM’s To Dispense N40,000
The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into the suspension of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by banks.
This was after a motion on “illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers’ accounts” was raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa during the plenary session on Wednesday.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu seconded the motion, saying: “The ATM charge is not the only charge we get from the bank, there are VAT charges and so on; this is unacceptable. We have the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria, but they are not living up to expectations.”
The issue generated much debate on the floor of the Senate and after much deliberations, a few resolutions were made.
The Senate directed the committees on banking insurance and other financial institutions and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.
It also mandated the committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions and finance to invite the CBN Governor to appear before the body in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.
The lawmakers urged CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers accounts, just as they called on the CBN to instruct the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal, pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.
The Consumer Protection Council was called upon to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian banks.
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