The Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, granted the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) the leave to apply for an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Bola Tinubu to disclose how his administration spent the billions of Naira saved from Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) subsidy payment.
SERAP in the suit number FHC/L/CS/1514/2023 filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos five months ago sought an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to provide details of the plans on how the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol, including specific projects on which the funds would be spent.
SERAP in the suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare, Ms. Adelanke Aremo, and Ms. Valentina requested an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu to provide details of the mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure that the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are not diverted into private pockets.
In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “Nigerians have the right to know how the savings are spent. Disclosing the spending details of the savings would reduce the risks of corruption in the spending of the funds.”
SERAP is arguing that “The Tinubu government has a legal obligation to ensure that the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are spent solely for the benefit of the 137 million poor Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of the removal.”
SERAP also argues that “Opacity in the spending of the savings from subsidy removal would have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens and the public interest.”
According to SERAP, the savings from subsidy removal may be embezzled, misappropriated, or diverted into private pockets.
SERAP believes that the information is crucial for promoting transparency and would increase public trust and confidence that these savings would be used to benefit Nigerians.
Wale Edun, Minister of Finance, during a retreat for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Asaba, Delta State, on Monday, said Nigeria has saved over N1 trillion since the removal of petrol subsidy, resulting in a significant surge in revenue inflow to the Federation Account.
He stated that a significant surge in revenue inflow to the Federation Account, soaring from an average of N650 million monthly to over N1 trillion in the last four months following the removal of petrol subsidy.