Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi (II), has declared that the subsidy regime in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has compromised the company.

According to him, only an angel may be able to run the corporation honestly.

When asked if he was satisfied with how the NNPC was being managed under the current administration, the emir told Punch that no law or regulation had been put in place to change how things were being done in the corporation.

Sanusi said, “I have not seen a change in laws or regulations that will institutionalise any changes. It is far more important to put in place the institutional changes that make it impossible for things to be done.”

While insisting that the payment of subsidy on petroleum products must be scrapped immediately, the monarch stressed that the problem of NNPC was beyond the change of its leadership.

His words: “It is not about the persons in the NNPC but about whether anyone can make a system operate honestly when there are such huge arbitrage opportunities. We need to import angels for that to happen.

“So, for me these are the issues. It is an economist’s nightmare. Sadly the very reason this subsidy should be scrapped is probably the reason it never will be. For those who profiteer from it, it is just too good to be true.

“The petroleum minister has disclosed that this government has spent N1.4tn already on fuel subsidy and for most of this period, oil price was between low and moderate.

“You can imagine how much we will pay as oil price goes up. Imagine if that money had gone into the power sector or agriculture and education and health. So for me this government inherited a bad situation but if it continues with these programmes, the next government will also inherit a bad situation which is a shame.”

“What we have is not a subsidy. The Federal Government guarantees Nigerians a maximum price per litre for fuel. And this is a product we import. And its price is based on unpredictable underlying commodity prices.”

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