Nigeria’s Former Governor Of Central Bank Say Fuel Subsidy Is Scam

Nigeria’s former Central Bank Governor, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi regrets the protest that stopped the attempted removal of fuel subsidy by former President Jonathan in 2012
Harrison Edeh 

FORMER Emir Of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Friday, described Nigeria’s petrol subsidy regime as a scam, expressing regrets over the nationwide protest that halted former President Jonathan’s planned removal of the subsidy in 2012.Sanusi, who was the Central Bank of Nigeria governor at that time, said Nigerians made a huge mistake by protesting against subsidy removal despite efforts to explain its negative impact on the quality of lives of the people.

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Nigeria has seen subsidy payment spiral out of control, pushing down possible gains from the rising global oil price following the post-COVID-19 global oil rise.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria pays an average of N120 billion monthly on petrol subsidy.

This amount has spiralled over time since NNPC is the sole importer of the products, a situation that has forced President Muhammadu Buhari-the substantive Minister of Petrol – to direct the pruning-down of the rising subsidy payment figures by the NNPC.

Speaking in a monitored television interview on Arise Television, Sanusi said Nigeria must admit that it was a poor country and should do away with the scam called subsidy to make money available for numerous developmental programmes.

“The first problem is by assuming that we are an oil-rich country. This has been a big joke for me. I remember in 2011 when we were talking about the subsidy debate when President Jonathan rightfully wanted to remove fuel subsidy,

“I said to people, you are producing two million barrels for 160 million Nigerians. That is one barrel for 80 people. Saudi Arabia produces one barrel for three citizens. These people need education, healthcare, infrastructure, electricity, telecommunications and agriculture from that one barrel that 80 people share. Then, you decide that what they need more than anything else is cheap fuel.

“That doesn’t make sense. It only made sense because there are many people who control the levers of power and are making millions and billions of dollars from the scam that is called fuel subsidy.”

The former CBN governor also noted that Nigeria benefited nothing from the oil price rise in the global oil market as it would use the gains of the rise in the market to pay for the subsidy, describing it as an impediment to developmental projects.

“Oil price goes up, oil-producing countries are happy. However, in Nigeria, oil price goes up, it doesn’t favour Nigerian economy because of subsidy payment,” he said.

“We have this scheme called subsidy which is a scam, hence everything that practically comes in goes back out to import of petroleum products and to pay subsidy because our refineries are not working and we rely on imports hugely.”

Sanusi further said that subsidies in themselves were not bad, but lots of people were making a kill from the spiralling figure and exploiting the government.

He said:” In 2016, the then Minister of State for Petroleum then Emmanuel Kachikwu came out and said, having eliminated corruption, they discovered that 30 million litres of petroleum product were being imported daily. At that time, fuel was 40 dollars per barrel.

“By 2019, NNPC came out and said we were importing 59 million litres daily. I’m sure that today, if you ask them, they will tell you they are importing 70 million litres per day.

“How do we move from 59 million litres a day to 70 million litres a day, in an environment that the economy is not growing. We have not doubled the number of cars, and we have not doubled our population.”

Most of those numbers are phantom numbers, he said.

Sanusi said that before he raised the alarm, the Federal Government had set up a committee chaired by Aig Imhokuede to look into the subsidy payments.

He noted that the committee discovered that people were manufacturing bills of lading, stating that a particular vessel claimed it came into Lagos at a definite time whereas it was nowhere near the Atlantic on that day.

He further stated that some vessels in that bill of lading had been retired over a decade in the past.

“These people produce bills of lading, somebody in Customs will stamp, and based on that, somebody will pay duty. A lot of fuel subsidies that are being paid are from the phantom vessels of fuel that did not make their way into this country.

“You can also look at the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) reports to confirm all that I said. The PWC saw a letter from DPR stating that they  waved documentation in the past and said, “go and sin no more.”  Where does the DPR get the power to wave the responsibility of producing evidence that fuel was actually imported into the country, as a basis for collecting subsidies?

“This was a responsibility that was bequeathed in the law setting up NNPC itself.   In 2015, we thought that there was going to be a change, but we continued with the subsidies.”

“When you create the big hole by paying the inflated subsidies, you then go and borrow and get to the point of not being able to service your debts, while resorting to borrowing from the central bank.”

Recall, Sanusi was not alone in voicing out concerns about Nigeria’s misplaced priority on subsidy payment.

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, now Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO),  in her book ‘Fighting corruption is dangerous,’ detailed how her aged mother was kidnapped in Delta State, noting that the kidnappers cited her probing subsidy scam as a result of the kidnap.

This Day in History: October 2

Nuclear Armed Iran More Dangerous Than North Korea

General Hossein Salami, the chief of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has made the Iranian regime’s plans vehemently clear: ‘Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map,’ he stated on Iran’s state-controlled Channel 2 TV in 2019

Source: Nuclear Armed Iran More Dangerous Than North Korea

Made for each other

There could hardly be a better introduction to the Bible than the Book of Genesis’ two stories of creation. To begin with, these stories immediately show us that the Bible is teaching a kind of truth that is not found in either history or science books. With two incompatible explanations of the beginnings of the human race, we quickly realize that Genesis speaks to us of meaning and truth, not mere facts.

That’s why, when someone asked Jesus about relationships, he started with the meaning of the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis.

October 3, 2021

Genesis 2:18-24
Psalm 128
Hebrews 2:9-11
Mark 10:2-16

The author of the second chapter of Genesis enjoyed a deep awareness of what makes us images of God. The writer weaves a tale of God fashioning a creature endowed with godly characteristics. Then, feeling compassion for the loneliness of that one-of-a-kind creature, God made other living creatures, all of whom the new human could name but none of whom could reply to him.

Then God got the idea to make another person: one like the first, only different. (We might wonder why a Trinitarian God didn’t figure that out in the first place, but the author of Genesis 2 was telling the story to make a particular point.)

The author of Genesis 1 wanted us to realize that human beings were creation’s crowning image of God: the best saved for last. The author of Genesis 2 reflected more on who we can be for one another. Explained through the symbol of a couple, the story reflects on the fact that we become fully human through the communication that builds relationships.

Adam was nothing more than an animal guardian and gardener before he met Eve. Then, when each met the other as a thinking, speaking person, their lives became fertile. They realized they were uniquely made for each other. Learning to love, they grew in their likeness to their creator.

As Teilhard de Chardin would teach a few thousand years later, when Adam met Eve, creation was on its way back to its maker.

This was the scriptural backdrop on the day that some Pharisees tried to hook Jesus into a debate about the legality of dismissing a wife as if she were a worn-out coat or a troublesome piece of household furniture. Their question focused on what was “lawful.”

Jesus amplified the question, trying to open their minds. Jesus admitted what the law said, and reminded them that the law served the narrow purpose of reining in hard hearts. Then he cut to the chase by reminding them that God created human beings for one another and that no person can be dismissed, rejected or marginalized without diminishing the entire order of creation.

There is little doubt that Jesus wanted to shake up his questioners. By basing his answer on Genesis rather than the law of Moses, he invited his audience to consider not just Israel and her law, but God’s purpose in creation. Then, reinterpreting Moses’ law in that light, he supplanted their patriarchal, male-dominant mindset with an approach that honored the equality of the sexes.

According to the law of the day, men alone had the right to initiate a divorce and adultery was considered a violation of a man’s property rights. Jesus’ teaching accorded women in the same dignity and responsibility as their male counterparts.

A Catholic Take on Identity Politics

The deepest identity that we’re all searching for is something both utterly personal and revealed only in intimacy with God

Typically, talk about identity politics is focused on domestic American politics. But earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled “Identity Politics Goes Global,” warning that the spread of identity politics abroad is threatening the destruction of multi-ethnic states in Asia and Africa.

So what is identity politics, really?

Oberlin’s Sonia Kruks explains that “what makes identity politics a significant departure from earlier, pre-identarian forms of the politics of recognition” is the nature of its demand: “the demand is not for inclusion within the fold of ‘universal humankind’ on the basis of shared human attributes; nor is it for respect ‘in spite of’ one’s differences. Rather, what is demanded is respect for oneself as different.” So you need to listen to me because I’m part of X, Y, or Z group. Conversely, you need to support this political party or issue because you’re part of X, Y, or Z group. (For instance, you’re a woman, so you’re not supposed to be pro-life.) This isn’t a politics built upon unity and uniformity. It’s a politics built upon difference and division.

But why would such an obviously destructive political movement become popular, and what can Catholics say in response to it?

One reason is that it gets something right about the relationship of identity with politics. That is, one strength of identity politics is that it recognizes that identity drives action. If you don’t know who you are, you don’t know how to behave. Imagine waking up during a soccer game and not knowing whether you were a fan, a referee, a goalie, or one of the other players: you wouldn’t know what to do next. In this world, we have a hunger for a sense of identity and a sense of belonging, because without these things, we have no way of knowing what to do with our lives.

Another reason is that identity politics takes personal stories seriously. That might seem counterintuitive at first, given that this is a politics that lumps people into clumsy racial and ethnic boxes. But it does so by tapping into the power of people’s personal experiences. Second-wave feminists even had a slogan for this: “the personal is political.” Carol Hanisch, who popularized the phrase, explains that “personal problems are political problems. There are no personal solutions at this time. There is only collective action for a collective solution.” Michelle Gao, a Harvard student writing about “Why I Don’t Support Identity Politics Anymore” for the student paper, explains that “I used to believe in identity politics because it told me: You and your experience matter. Your identity gives you authority. Your beliefs can’t be invalidated because your identity can’t be invalidated.”

Identity politics succeeds in no small part, then, because it gives people a sense of belonging, a sense of identity, and a sense that they matter and are seen and affirmed as who they are. Granted, it often does this in a sort of lowest-common-denominator way, by reducing people’s identities to the intersection of certain politically relevant details: their race/ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and so on. But this should be a wake-up call to Catholics. Why? Because we have something better to offer in each of these areas.

Pope St. John Paul II begins his encyclical Fides et Ratio by declaring that “faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” The claim is striking, because the pope isn’t condemning us for wanting to figure out who we are. He’s instead arguing that we’ll come to that knowledge only once we know who God is. It’s only when Simon realizes that Jesus is the Christ that he’s able to “come to the fullness of truth” about himself by letting Jesus reveal him to himself as St. Peter (Matt. 16:15-19). Logically, that makes sense: if we don’t know whether we’re a cosmic accident or part of the loving plan of God, then what hope do we have of really knowing the “fullness of truth” about our own identities? My best hope to understand my unique nature is to learn from the one who designed me.

We Catholics sometimes recoil from unbiblical language like “my personal Lord and Savior” when used by Protestants, because we (rightly) don’t want to obscure the fact that being “children of God” (1 John 3:1) also entails being part of the Church, the “household of God” (1 Tim. 3:15). But each of us has a relationship with Christ that is unique, personal, and unrepeated. We can’t let the big picture—men are rational animals, created in love by God for eternity with him—obscure the intimacy of the detailed individual scenes within that picture: God knows and loves you. Jesus’ promise to the triumphant saint is that “I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it” (Rev. 2:17). He expresses this intimacy by combining the image of a private, hidden Communion with that of finally learning your real name, your true identity, in a way known only to God and (ultimately) you.

If you think about the dictators in history, their stories are depressingly similar: the rise to power, the domination of enemies, the awful bloodshed. But if you think about the saints, they’re wildly different. St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux were both young female French saints, but after that, they have little in common. The former was a medieval warrior, saving France on the field of battle. The latter was a contemplative nun, praying from her cell for the conversion of the world. Indeed, part of Thérèse’s spiritual journey was realizing that she wasn’t called to be Joan, for “our Lord made me understand that the only true glory is that which lasts for ever; and that to attain it there is no necessity to do brilliant deeds, but rather to hide from the eyes of others, and even from oneself, so that ‘the left hand knows not what the right hand does.’”

We are not reducible to our skin color or our sex or any of our other politically convenient characteristics. We are not even reducible to being Christians or Catholics, as if we were interchangeable pieces in God’s plan. No, the deepest identity that we’re all searching for is something both utterly personal and revealed only in intimacy with God. The first step toward revealing that identity is knowing how to answer Christ’s question: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). When you know that, you’ll know who you are, too.

Why the Months of May and October Are Marian Months

Why are these months so special to Catholics?

Question: Why are the months of May and October dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary?

Answer: The Church has long set aside the entire month of May to honor Mary. According to this article, one reason was because in ancient Greece (remember, the Church went to Greece in its earliest apostolic missions) May was the month of Artemis, the goddess of fertility. Rededicating the month to the Mother of God was a way the early Christians sought to “baptize” pagan culture.

As for October, that month has been dedicated to the rosary—a set of prayers said in honor of the Blessed Mother—because Pope St. Pius V credited the Holy League’s victory at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, to the praying of the rosary that he had enjoined upon all Christians in preparation for the battle.