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FG begins fact-finding on fuel subsidy removal

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
20 January 2022   |   4:15 am
The Federal Government, yesterday, said it would initiate a fact-finding process to determine the true state of affairs on the issues surrounding the removal of fuel subsidy.

Lai Mohammed

Okays N75.78b contracts for FCT, erosion, transportation

The Federal Government, yesterday, said it would initiate a fact-finding process to determine the true state of affairs on the issues surrounding the removal of fuel subsidy.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who gave the indication, spoke following Tuesday’s pronouncement by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, that President Muhammadu Buhari had not directed the removal.

Mohammed, while briefing newsmen at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was asked to shed light on the issue given that the 2022 budget has no subsidy provision beyond June.

Responding, the minister craved time to allow for consultations with relevant government agencies for a correct position on the matter.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had last October, announced that the current administration made no provision for petrol subsidy beyond the first half of this year, hinting that the government looks forward to a complete deregulation of the sector.

The minister said FEC approved N75.78 billion for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), flood control in the six geo-political zones and the Ministry of Transportation. He was joined at the briefing his FCT and Transportation counterparts, Mohammed Bello and Rotimi Amaechi.

The FCT has the largest share of the contracts –two projects – totalling about N56.2 billion. According to the FCT minister, the approvals are for the construction of Kuje 105 highway, access road and car park for Abuja Light Rail station.

He hinted that efforts are ongoing to complete the long-standing Apo-Karshi Road, whose implementation, he said, had been delayed owing to lack of funding and design error, among others.

Mohammed, on the other hand, gave a breakdown of the 14 projects approved under the Ecological Fund traversing the six geo-political zones of the country.

He explained that two memos were presented on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, which sought approval for the award of contracts for the 2022 emergency procurement of first and second quarters’ accelerated soil erosion, flood and pollution control intervention projects.

The 14 ecological project contracts were approved for roughly N15.1 billion. Also briefing, Amaechi said he presented four memos on behalf of his ministry, stating that they were all approved by gathering.

He said FEC approved memo for the clearing of equipment for the deep blue project, “which will enable us sight some of these projects in the coastal towns along the coasts, at the cost of N2.7 billion to be paid to the clearing agents.”