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Sanusi: How NNPC, Oil Marketers Inflated Petrol Figures



Sanusi: How NNPC, Oil Marketers Inflated Petrol Figures

A former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, said petrol imports figures were inflated when global oil prices went up during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the regime of the current President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sanusi, who spoke on Tuesday at a panel session during the 27th National Economic Summit in Abuja, said the subsidy on petrol was responsible for the inflated figures.

Until May 2016, when the Federal Government announced a new petrol price band of N135 to N145 per litre of petrol, private marketers imported petrol into the country and were paid subsidy claims by the government in order to keep the pump price lower than the expected open market price of the product.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years, has been bearing the subsidy cost. It does the importation through the Direct Purchase Direct Sale arrangement.

Under the DSDP scheme, selected overseas refiners, trading companies, and indigenous companies are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC.

Sanusi said, “I have said this over and over again, and when I say this, I want it to be clear that I said this when I was governor of the central bank under the previous government. What I say is not about a particular government.

“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Kachikwu came out and said Nigeria was importing 30 million litres of fuel a day after eliminating corruption and having transparency. In 2019, the NNPC came out and said we were importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question: what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our consumption doubled?

“This was the same thing that happened under the previous government; in Nigeria, when the oil price goes up – unlike all other products when it gets more expensive, you have a reduction in demand – the NNPC says we are importing more. Why because as the price of oil goes up, the arbitrage between the subsidised price and the market price is so high; there is an incentive to inflate those numbers.”

The NNPC, in the latest monthly report on its website, said a total of 1.67 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), translating to 55.79 million litres per day were supplied in April.

Sanusi said, “I have produced evidence before the National Assembly historically of cases where the NNPC would say we have imported fuel, use the name of a vessel – people say they imported fuel; you go and check and the vessel was nowhere near Nigeria on the day they said it was in Lagos, and people have collected subsidy on those things.

“For me, all the drawbacks of this regime, what it is costing Nigeria is not just the cost of subsidy; it is the cost of the corruption. What we need to do is to scrap it.”

The ex-CBN boss added, “This money coming from petroleum belongs to the federation account; the Federal Government does not have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So, that is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, state and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as a central government expenditure. So, you can see so many complex issues – there are legal and economic issues. What we need to do is stop this thing.”

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How FG Tend To Fund N2.4trn Palliative



How FG Tend To Fund N2.4trn Palliative

The Federal Government may deduct at least N2.4 trillion from the Federation Account to fund the N5,000 cash palliative that will be handed over to 40 million poor Nigerians after the fuel subsidy has been removed next year.

This is just as the list of poor Nigerians on the Federal Government’s National Social Register had surpassed 42 million and may hit 43 million by December 2021. This implies that the figure to be spent on the subsidy palliative may hit N2.58tn in one year.

When contacted on the telephone on how funds for the N5,000 palliative would be sourced, Yunusa Abdullahi, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, referred journalists to a statement by his principal after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, November 23.

In the statement, Ahmed noted that the funding would come from FAAC allocations. FAAC which is headed by the Minister of Finance comprises Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states, representatives of revenue-generating agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPP), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among others.

These revenue-generating agencies are expected to remit a specified amount of their revenue to the Federation Account which will be distributed among the three tiers of government.

Ahmed, however, noted that negotiation was still ongoing.

So these are things that we are still in negotiation because it’s still money that would have to come from the Federation Account. So everybody that is a member of FAAC will have to agree on the numbers.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, had on Tuesday announced at a World Bank event in Abuja that the subsidy on petrol was not sustainable.

He said the Federal Government would in 2022 remove the petrol subsidy paving the way for the sale of the product for between N320 and N340 per litre.

Also at the World Bank event, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning said the subsidy was not benefitting the poor.

According to her, to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal, the Federal Government will give a transport grant of N5,000 each to between 30 million and 40 million poor Nigerians.

The N5,000 transport palliative planned to be disbursed to 40 million Nigerians means the Federal Government will be spending a total of N200bn every month on the initiative. Since the government has said the initiative may last for 12 months, it follows then that the scheme will gulp N2.4tn in one year.

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Nigeria Air To Commence Operations With 49% Foreign Ownership



Nigeria Air To Commence Operations With 49% Foreign Ownership

Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier will begin flight in April next year, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has stated.

The development came three years after the Federal Government announced plans to establish a new national carrier, following the liquidation of the Nigerian Airways in 2003.

At the end of a virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, Sirika told State House correspondents that the Federal Government would own not more than five percent equity stake in the national airline.

According to him, Nigerian entrepreneurs will own 46 percent shares while international strategic partners will own 49 percent stake.

The minister said his ministry presented two memoranda which were approved by FEC.

The next one also is the approval of the outline business case for the establishment of the national carrier and this is the sixth time the memorandum appeared before Council. The sixth time, we got lucky to be passed by the Council.

The structure of the proposed airline; the government will be own not more than five percent. So, five percent is the maximum equity that the government will take, then 46 percent will be owned by Nigerian entrepreneurs. So, if you add that, it’s 51 percent.

Sirika noted that 49 percent stake would be held by strategic equity partners that would be sourced during the procurement phase.

He added, “This airline, if started, within the first few years will generate about 70,000 jobs. These 70,000 jobs are higher than the total number of civil servants that we have in the country. Its importance has been well discussed, so; I’ll not go back to it. You had discussed it separately also on various fora as to the need for it.”

Speaking about the second memo, the minister said, “Today in Council, civil aviation presented two memoranda. The first one is approval for the award of contract for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment, including software support and training, which will be located in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

In summary, this is a software that will allow all of the activities of civil aviation regulation to be done electronically on one platform, including payments, including follow-ups on personnel licensing, the medicals, the economic regulation of airlines, safety regulation of airlines and all other businesses within the envelope of civil aviation will be monitored by this single software.

“It is called ‘the truth machine’ in Europe because all of the truth of the regulation of civilisation will appear on this platform. It’s extremely important software that the world has now come to terms with.”

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Reps Reveal Plan For Economic Diversification



Reps Reveal Plan For Economic Diversification

The House of Representatives has resolved to work with the executive arm of the Federal Government towards creating a roadmap for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy from petroleum to other sectors over the next 10 years.

The resolution is based on a motion moved by a member, Dennis Idahosa, at the plenary, which was titled, ‘Need to Create an Economic Revenue Road Map for the Future of Nigeria.’

Moving the motion that was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers, the Idahosa recalled that the 26th meeting of the conference parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, focusing on addressing the climate crisis in decades ahead, was held in Glasgow from October 31 to 12 November, 2021.

The lawmaker noted that a resolution was passed at the UNCOP26 2021 summit to phase down fossil fuel to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

He also noted that parties to the Paris Agreement adopted at COP21 in Paris on December 12, 2015, entering into force on November 4, 2016, are expected to transit from fossil fuel to clean energy and reach a Net Zero ambition for greenhouse gases emission.

Idahosa said, “The House recognises that the oil and gas sector is Nigeria’s biggest revenue-generating sector accounting for over 65 percent of the country’s total revenue, with a production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day.

The House is also aware that all over the world, and with the advent of rapid technological advancement, the need for fossil fuel and hydrocarbons is declining. Some countries like Sweden, China, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and many others are taking actions that will lead to complete dependence on renewable energy soon.

The House is concerned that following the recent resolution by all major countries at the UNCOP26 2021 summit, countries like Nigeria, which depend mainly on hydrocarbon and fossil fuels for revenue and survival, will be the worst hit except and unless careful and intentional precautions are taken to secure the future of Nigeria.

The House is worried that Nigeria has come up with futuristic plans in the past like Vision 20:2020 plan and the desired result was not fully achieved. Nigeria has numerous potential sources of revenue and if attention is not placed on them early, it will be of no benefit to citizens and the nation at large.”

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Climate Change, Gas Resources, Environment, Petroleum Resources (Upstream), and Solid Minerals to liaise with relevant stakeholders “with the mandate of providing a 10-year framework for the utilisation of current resources towards developing other sectors and report back within 12 weeks for further legislative action.

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