President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will handle the issue of subsidies on petroleum products with care.
A State House press statement said President Buhari made the remark in Abuja on Monday following a briefing from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies in the oil sector, disclosing he will carefully review all the submissions he has received on the need to remove the subsidies.
"I have received [a lot of] literature on the need to remove subsidies, but much of it has no depth.
"When you touch the price of petroleum products, that has the effect of triggering price rises on transportation, food and rents,” he observed. “That is for those who earn salaries, but there are many who are jobless and will be affected by it.”
President Buhari also said that the lack of security, sabotage, vandalism, corruption and mismanagement are the most serious problems of Nigeria's oil sector, not necessarily subsidies. He promised to deal decisively with all identified problems of the oil and gas sector.
"We have to go back to the good old days of transparency and accountability," the President said.
He directed the NNPC to review existing agreements for the swapping of crude oil for refined products with a view to injecting more honesty and transparency into the process to reduce costs.
The President also asked the NNPC management to do more to improve the supply of cooking gas.