The Chairman of the Alliance for Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) and human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has faulted the federal government’s claim that revenue has dropped in the greater parts of 2020.
The group, in a statement issued by Falana, asked the federal government to cancel the fuel and electricity prices’ hike.
Falana said the government’s claim of revenue shrink was fraught with inadequacies and figures that fail to reflect the country’s economic realities.
The group listed gross mismanagement of public funds, ineptitude, and gross incompetence as Nigeria’s albatross.
It regretted that huge funds earmarked for the energy sector by notable members of the ruling class have consistently been frittered.
ASCAB said that since the federal government has announced plans to switch from petrol to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), the increase in petrol should be cancelled without delay.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipreye Sylva has assured the that CNG would be sold between N95 and N97 per litre.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed had cited revenue shortfall as reasons behind the government’s recent fuel and electricity tariffs hike.
Falana maintained the minister’s claim does not reflect the state of the economy.
ASCAB listed certain factors that puncture the government’s claim.
“In the first half of this year, oil income distributed by the Federal Allocation Committee (FAAC) was actually 13 per cent above that for last year and the level for the first quarter had been the highest for several years.
“However, other income, taxes, etc, may have fallen due to the lockdowns and other disruptions from Covid-19.
“NEITI reported that in the first five months of this year, total government revenue was only 62 per cent of the level agreed in the budget, but the revenue budgets are always over-optimistic,” ASCAB said.