The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is not in support of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Sylva said this in an interview on Channels Television Newsnight programme.
There have been confusion over the current administration’s stance on fuel subsidy.
In October, Zainab had announced that the federal government made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022 as the government looked towards complete deregulation of the sector.
She had said: “In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year; the second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry.”
But speaking with reporters after a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, Lawan said he told Buhari about the feelings and concerns of his constituents on critical issues, including the proposed removal of subsidy.
The Senate President said he raised the issue with the president because lawmakers were worried about the agitations and protests around the country over the move to end petrol subsidy.
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He said he was glad to inform Nigerians that Buhari had not told anyone to remove petroleum subsidy.
Sylva buttressed this point in the Channels Television interview.
“I will tell you categorically that at this moment, the complete removal of subsidy is not on our plate at all. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in support of removing subsidy at this time.”
“Of course, we all know that it is a desirable policy direction. Of course, we know that it will have some impacts on the people and that is why we are trying to work out some of those things.
“Until those details are worked out properly with (the organised) labour, and with all the stakeholders in the sector, we will not remove the subsidy. At this moment, it is not on our plate, I can tell you that.
“This is something that needs to be worked out between the Federal Government and the states because this is a federation issue. We are working with the governors to see how we can continue with this policy direction of subsidising fuel for the foreseeable future.”
Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), had warned the Federal Government against upward review of pump price, saying it could plunge more people into poverty.
He spoke at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue, which held in Abuja on Thursday.
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Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11% in Q1 – NBS report
The National Bureau of Statistics has said the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.11 per cent in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS said this on Monday in its new Gross Domestic Product Report, showing the sixth consecutive quarter of positive growth.
It stated the first quarter 2022 growth rate further represented gradual economic stability due to strong growth posted by the non-oil sector.
Part of the report read, “The Q1 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51% growth rate recorded in Q1 2021 by 2.60% points and lower than 3.98% recorded in Q4 2021 by 0.88% points. “Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66% in Q1 2022 compared to Q4 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.
“In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N45,317,823.33 million in nominal terms.
“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021, which recorded aggregate GDP of N40,014,482.74 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25%.
“The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25% growth recorded in the first quarter of 2021 and higher compared to the 13.11% growth recorded in the preceding quarter.”
Reps summon NPA, terminal operators over huge debt owed FG
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has summoned the leadership of the Nigerian Ports Authority and seaport terminal operators over $852.094 million and N1.897 billion and other funds owed the Federal Government.
According to the committee, N269.410 million of the N1.8 billion has been recovered while the balance of N1.6 billion “invoices processed on the encumbered areas remains unpaid.”
It added, “The sum of $504,663,452.37 is volume change on fix lease lease fee payment by APMT arising from clauses in the concession agreement between NPA and APMT out of the total sum of $852,093,730.77.
“Bills raised on encumbered areas which remain unpaid is $19,169,459.00. The following has been paid GMT-$54,707,700.08, unpaid penalties – $11,922,642.68 and unpaid VAT-$28,693,707.07”.
“$92,533,518.72 has been recovered; leaving unpaid lease and throughput fee in the sum of $139,970,637.71 (made up of $113,982,486.82 and $5,988,150.89) respectively.
The committee directed the NPA management to reconcile their records with the office of the AuGF and provide evidence of remitting the recovered N269.51m and $92.534m to the government.
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