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Reps Tackle Jonathan On Oil Subsidy

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ABUJA, October 23, (THEWILL) - Opposition parties in the House of Representatives has started mobilizing other lawmakers against the proposed removal of subsidies on petroleum products by President Goodluck Jonathan.

This is coming on the heels of a planned meeting by the 36 state governors in Abuja on Monday over the deduction of N250 billion from the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulation Authority (PPPRA).

Recall that state finance commissioners had kicked against the alleged unauthorized deductions by both agencies at the meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee in Abuja last Tuesday.

Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu who disclosed this today said the lawmakers were prepared to match the Executive in its avowed plan to throw the country into untold hardship and chaos.

“We will pass a resolution kicking against subsidy removal. Already, all members are in support of the motion and we will seek concurrence of the Senate to make it a law which will stop the government from removing subsidy," the lawmaker stated.

Sumaila also said they have uncovered a plot by the government to blackmail MPs using their governors who will threaten them with recall if they refuse to tow their part.

"The House has started on a good note and we won't compromise. Nigerians should be vigilant and we are happy that all Nigerians are united in opposing this evil plan. They have put aside tribe, religion, party affiliations and regional interests just like Obasanjo's third term agenda," he said.

"Section 4 of the 1999 constitution as amended charge us to make laws for the good governance, peace security of this nation and I can tell you that subsidy removal is contrary to this provision since it will hurt the people we are suppose to serve and protect," the MP said.

Also recall that the House had two weeks ago suspended debate on the issue of removal of oil subsidy and is awaiting the outcome of the investigation by the Senate.

The Minister of Pretroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke last week told lawmakers that the federal government would not remove the subsidy on kerosene which is usually used in homes of those with low income.