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Representatives: “We have not changed our position on subsidy”

By on December 16, 2011

The House of Representatives have sent signals to the general public and the Presidency indicating that they are unimpressed with the 2012 National budget as proposed and submitted to their chambers by President Goodluck Jonathan and his economic team.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, Chairman House Committee on Media, Hon Zakary Mohammed (PDP/Kwara) stated “We have taken a decision that we do not want subsidy taken out of the budget so definitely subsidy has to be in the budget. The House of Representatives still stands on that fact that we are not voting for subsidy removal because there are key indicators and conditions that we have set before subsidy can be removed. One of them is that our refineries must be fixed to refine products and reduce our dependence on imported fuel.”

Zakary has called on all stakeholders to exercise patience as the House plans to delve into the grey areas of the budget and tweak it to a position more satisfactory to Nigerians.

He added, ““The budget has been laid before the House but we would not take it hook line and sinker. We would look at each of these sectors according to their merit and we think that defence (security) should not take as much as that (N921.91billion), almost a trillion. We believe it is on the high side.

“We can take out some funds from the defense allocation and take it to areas like power sector which has a potential of impacting positively on the rate of unemployment in the country. If our industries are moribund and some are trying to move out of Nigeria because of the power situation, they will definitely come back and a lot of our population would be employed.”