Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), announced yesterday that oil production in Nigeria surged to 1.6 million barrels per day from the previous figure of less than one million bpd a few months ago.
This announcement came during a media briefing held by Olawale Edu, the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, in Abuja.
Kyari also noted a decline in petrol consumption, with a 30 per cent reduction attributed to the removal of the subsidy by President Bola Tinubu.
According to Kyari, this decrease in fuel demand has led to a corresponding 30 per cent reduction in NNPCL’s foreign exchange requirements for fuel imports.
During the briefing, Minister Edun unveiled the Tinubu administration’s ambitious plan to attract Nigerian funds held in domiciliary accounts within and abroad to reinvigorate the economy.
Further, Kyari stated that the $3 billion deal with the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM) was not a loan but a forward sale arrangement and clarified that it had not collapsed.
Minister Edun highlighted the substantial foreign exchange potential held by Nigerians both within the country and overseas. He stressed the need to create an environment that encourages the repatriation of these funds for investment in the Nigerian economy rather than foreign economies.
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Edun said, “We need to provide the environment that brings those funds home for investment in the Nigerian economy.”
Edun also touched upon the palliatives provided by the federal government in response to the petrol subsidy removal. He disclosed that only N2 billion out of the N5 billion grant/loan allocated to each state has been released. He explained that funds were gradually released to prevent inflationary pressures and maintain economic stability.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by Nigerians due to the recent fiscal reforms, he assured that these difficulties are temporary and necessary for a brighter future.