•As N’Assembly rejects Jonathan’s overtures
Owing to the high political temperature generated from the decision to remove oil subsidy, the Federal
Government may have pushed the planned removal from January to April 2012. National Assembly sources told Daily Sun that the decision to shift the new take-off date to April was based on “inconclusive consultations” across all the sectors of the economy and politicians. Months of intensive lobby by the Presidency for the National Assembly (NASS) to endorse the removal, beginning from the 2012 fiscal year ran into troubled waters. President Goodluck Jonathan may be at the crossroads as an intensive lobby of the leadership of the National Assembly and some key committee chairmen has failed, for now.
Federal lawmakers have, so far, refused to endorse his proposal. Besides, three Senate standing committees, mandated to consider the President’s proposal to the National Assembly on the removal, have rejected the move in the report submitted to the whole house two weeks ago. The President presented estimates of N4.749 trillion Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 13 without any mention of the oil subsidy, which the government claimed that has so far gulped N1.5 trillion as at September this year.
Rather, in his budget speech, the President canvassed liberalization of the downstream sector much in line with that done for the communications sector.