• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Petrol subsidy relief undecided three months to removal

FG to boost security across airports with facial recognition cameras

Three months to the end of fuel subsidy regime, the federal government on Wednesday said it is yet to conclude on palliatives,that will cushion the effect on Nigerians

Minister of State for budget and National Planning, Clem Agba gave the indication at the end of the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It will be recalled that under the federal government 2022 to 2023 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, proposal of N3.3tn was made for fuel subsidy between January and June 2023.

But Agba, speaking on the issues after FEC meeting, disclosed that a Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been working with the National Economic Council ( NEC), a body made up of Governors of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory( FCT) on palliatives that will help to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal, for over a year, but are yet to come up with its decisions

Speaking on what the government has in place to mitigate the effect of the fuel subsidy removal, Agba confirmed that the provisions for subsidy is up to June, 2023, adding that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and other relevant agencies have also been working on the issue.
He disclosed however, “the Minister of State , Petroleum Resources will be in a position provide more updates”

“ For over a year plus now, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has been leading a Committee working on this and the National Economic Council also has a committee that has also been working on this.

“So, the stage that we are in now is how to finalize the suggestions that have cone out from both the federal government and the Governors side. Like you know, it is something that is going to affect the entire nation.
“ They will just have to ensure that everyone is carried along, that is both the federal and subnational governments

Agba stated that the Council also approved the Nigeria Agenda 2050, a long term plan for the country

Nigeria had in December, 2021 launched the National Development Plan 2021 to 2025, a subset of the one approved on Wednesday.

“ We are going to have six medium term, five year plans. We already have the 2021-2025, so we are going to have them like that. So the agenda 2050 is the broad frame work of the direction that we want to go.

“It looks at the broad macro and sectoral outlook from 2021 to 2050. It also look at the macro economic results from the sectoral outlook and associated employments and poverty implications which were generated from the analytical underpinning.

“We benchmark Nigeria amongst the other upper middle income countries that have already achieved some level of socio economic achievements which Nigeria also desire by 2050.

“The indicator derived from those benchmarking, serve as inputs in the dynamic computable general economic model, used for long term planning.”

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This is expected to amongst others create a stable and predictable macroeconomic environment by adopting policies that are consistent with raising domestic savings and investments.

The Council also approved N2.8b for 2023 population and housing census, now billed to hold in May, this year.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed made the disclosure in Abuja, while briefing State House Journalists, after the FEC meeting

The Minister also disclosed that the decision to shift the Census to May, was necessitate by the rescheduling of the gubernatorial election to March 18.

He also disclosed that the Council approved the sum of N2.8 billion for the National Population commission to procure some software to be used for the conduct of the census.

“There was a memo presented by the National Population Commission, seeking for some software to allow them conduct the census in May this year. I believe because of the reschedulement of the elections, they cannot commence the census as scheduled.

“They sought Council’s approval for a contract to procure software for the census at the sum of N2.8 billion,” he said.

The Minister of information stated that the Council also approved contract for the construction of an access road from the existing Benin / Asaba expressway to link the 2nd Niger bridge at the cost of N15b

He noted that government is committed to commissioning the bridge before the expiration of the tenure of the Buhari administration

The Council also approved the revised estimated total cost of contract for dualization of the Suleja to Mina expressway, the contract which was awarded at the cost of N9b, has now be augmented with another N16b.

“ When the road was constructed, it was not expected to be a major road for transportation of petroleum products

The Minister of Power, stated that Council approved augmentation for the contracts of the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN) due to price variations, of equipment and materials for the construction of 2/ 60 MVA, 132 transmission substation at Nnewi in Anambra state and another 2/132 extension line at the Onitsha substation.

“These are subsisting contracts which started since 2006 and which had suffered delays due to several challenges.

“ It has been varied many times and the TCN, in their quest to complete the project set up a committee that came up with the estimate.

The approved amount of the variation is €3.7m plus N1.137b and that will raise the total amount to €8.74m plus N1.44b , inclusive of 7.5% VAT at the prevailing exchange rate.