President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed organised labour for the country’s dwindling revenues due to the continued payment of fuel subsidies.
Buhari made this assertion during the presentation of the 2022 budget before a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday.
The President stated that “as the combination of rising crude oil prices and exchange rate combined to push the price above the hitherto regulated price of 145 Naira per litre, opposition against the policy of price deregulation hardened on the part of Labour Unions in particular.
“Government had to suspend further upward price adjustments while engaging Labour on the subject. This petrol subsidy significantly eroded revenues that should have been available to fund the budget.”
He further explained how the oil revenues fell 34 per cent below the expected targets due to “the underperformance of oil and gas revenue sources.
“Federal Government’s retained revenues (excluding Government Owned Enterprises) amounted to 2.61 trillion Naira against the proportionate target of 3.95 trillion Naira for the period.
“The Federal Government’s share of Oil revenue totalled 570.23 billion Naira as of July 2021, which was 51 per cent below target, while non-oil tax revenues totalled 964.13 billion Naira.
“The poor performance of oil revenue relative to the budget was largely due to the shortfall in production as well as significant cost recovery by NNPC to cover the shortfall between its cost of importing petrol and the pump price,” he noted.