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Governors insist on subsidy removal, say NNPC contributes zero to FAAC

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Terhemba Daka and Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
04 March 2022   |   4:07 am
Amid dwindling revenue for states, some governors in Abuja, yesterday, insisted the Federal Government must remove subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol.

NNPC

• Opposition party berates FG’s ‘insensitivity’ on fuel scarcity
• Vice President optimistic on nation’s economic growth, opportunities

Amid dwindling revenue for states, some governors in Abuja, yesterday, insisted the Federal Government must remove subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol.

Speaking at the International Energy Summit, Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi disclosed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited contributed nothing to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in February.

Although price of crude oil is at record high, trading above $110 per barrel, payment of subsidy has eroded almost 90 per cent of the fund expected in the FAAC. In January 2022, only N20.1 billion was remitted.

While most of the states are struggling to survive, with payment of salary already difficult, things could get tougher with the over N3 trillion deductions expected this year.

“The NNPC contributed zero to FAAC this month. This is not the first time NNPC is contributing zero to FAAC. In the last couple of months, we have been having this challenges,” Fayemi said.

He said it is worrisome that increase in oil price at the international market is creating concerns locally, adding that the governors are concerned about how to sustain the sector for a long time.

Calling for revamp of the oil sector, Fayemi said: “For states that are beneficiaries of the goose that lays the golden egg in the oil and gas industry, we also are very desirous that investments are sustained over the long term. We see a serious concern, particularly in terms of revitalising the industry around transparency and around accountability.”

His Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, insisted that the country must find a way to immediately remove subsidy on PMS.

Represented by his Commissioner for Energy, Razaq Obe, Akeredolu said: “Nigeria needs to remove subsidy on PMS now. As Governor Fayemi said, NNPC brought nothing to the table last month. What that means is that we are running a country that is basically bankrupt.”

THIS came as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned what it called gross insensitivity of the current administration to the plight of Nigerians in the face of worsening fuel crisis.

The party lamented that the prevailing situation has imposed more hardship on Nigerians. In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, PDP said Nigerians were already frustrated with widespread uncertainties, economic hardship, sectional agitations, industrial unrests, infrastructural stagnation, kidnapping, bloodletting and insecurity.

It added: “The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to jet out to the United Kingdom (where leaders are committed) for yet another ‘routine medical check-up’, after his administration has wrecked our healthcare system, and when the nation which he leads is in crisis, underscores the insensitivity of the APC, which by nature and outlook has never been ready for governance since inception.”

BUT Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expressed optimism about Nigeria’s fortunes, yesterday, at the official commissioning of the Bankers House of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja.

He maintained that the Federal Government understands the critical role the private sector plays in delivering value to the economy, and is, therefore, focused on leveraging opportunities for collaboration to usher the country into a more prosperous new decade.

Osinbajo noted that Nigeria is set for great heights, not only because it is “a nation of great dreamers and great doers”, but also for the resilience of its people and their great potential.

“With a population constituting the largest market on the continent, a swelling demography of ambitious, tech-savvy young people, accelerating regional integration and connection to new markets, Nigeria has been presented with an unprecedented opportunity to launch the country into a new decade of sustained prosperity: an opportunity we are fully committed, as a government, to translating into lived realities for millions of Nigerians across the country.”

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