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NESG, Marketers Fear Crisis As Fuel Subsidy Gulps N2.04tn

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The Nigerian Economic Summit Group and oil marketers, under the umbrella of the Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, are worried about an impending fiscal crisis in Nigeria following the continued rise in subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.

NESG expressed its concern in the group’s September 2022 report titled, “The State of Nigeria’s Economy,” obtained in Abuja on Monday, as figures from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited indicated that petrol subsidy gulped N2.04tn between January and July this year.

NNPC said its under-recovery of PMS/value shortfall, otherwise called fuel subsidy, was N210.38bn, N219.78bn, N245.77bn, and N271.59bn in January, February, March, and April 2022 respectively.

In May, June, and July, the petrol subsidy gulped N327.07bn, N319.18bn, and N448.78bn respectively. The total sum spent on PMS subsidy during the seven months was put at N2.04tn.

In its latest report on the state of Nigeria’s economy, the NESG observed that the Federal Government’s huge fuel subsidy spending had been a drain on the country’s revenue despite the rise in crude oil prices in 2022.

The group stated, “In line with historical precedent, Nigeria’s fiscal space has been largely unimpressive, primarily on the revenue alongside a growing fiscal deficit.

“Despite an increase in global oil prices, the Federal Government’s actual revenue (N1.63tn for January – April 2022) is short of the pro-rated budget (N3.32tn), while government spending (N4.72tn for January – April 2022) was significantly closer to the budgeted levels (N5.77tn for January -April 2022).”

The NESG said the government should cut its fiscal deficit to avert an impending fiscal crisis, highlighting the gradual withdrawal of fuel subsidy as one of the measures to achieve this.

“Embark on the gradual phasing out of the fuel subsidy program,” the economic think-tank told the Federal Government, stressing that sustaining the program was “disastrous.”

It added, “Aside from taking a clear position on the fuel subsidy issue, the Federal Government must begin the shutting down phase of subsidy programs to save the country from impending fiscal crisis.

“Understandably, this suggestion will affect the welfare of the citizens, but it is only in the short term. On the other hand, the more extended effects of sustaining this program are disastrous.”

Also speaking on the development, the President of, the Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, stated that the petrol subsidy should be immediately stopped.

“The subsidy that is being paid on petrol should be stopped. The money should be recycled into other developmental projects such as health, refineries, etc,” he told our correspondent.

Gillis-Harry added, “Since the refineries have not been successfully fixed by the government, they should either give it wholly to private sector practitioners such as PETROAN, which owns the retail outlets for which the products are being refined, to manage.”

On concerns the petrol might sell for about N500/liter should the subsidy be halted, the PETROAN president said, “This subsidy that we are talking about, what is its practical performance in the everyday life of a Nigerian? We need to ask that question.

“Today some people bought petrol at N250/liter, somebody else bought at N300/liter, while another person is saying, ‘let us just have the product because we are ready to pay N400/liter.’

“So, you can see that in different parts of the country there are different kinds of experiences by motorists and other users of petrol. Therefore, it is a very simple thing that we should level the ground by allowing deregulation to rule. That’s the answer.”

Gillis-Harry said the country might continue to borrow to fund its projects, whereas it could reduce the amount being borrowed by halting what was spent on petrol subsidy.

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Project Lead Africa Announces 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards, Tagged “Rewarding Tenacity”

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Organizers of Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards have annouced November 13th for the 2022 maiden edition of Lead Awards. It was also revealed that the prestigious event will hold at the Dome International Conference Center, Akure, Ondo State.

Addressing a cross section of journalists over the weekend in Lagos, the Executive Director, Abiola Alaba Peters AAP, said the evening promises to be a gathering of captains of industries, government officials and prominent traditional rulers as far as Ondo State is concerned.

“It is our pleasure to announce to the general public, particularly the good people of Ondo State, that all is set for the 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards. This announcement was necessary after several months of consultation and planning, the event will be live at the Dome International Conference Center, in Ondo State capital, Akure”

“The date is November 13th 2022, It’s going to be a cooperate night, an evening of glitz and glamour, we have put in so much into making this maiden edition a memorable one. And that is why we have also taking time to design the concept of the theme of this year ceremony, REWARDING TENACITY. We believe it’s time to celebrate the individuals and organizations who have put in their best in making our dear state what it is today”

“It’s promises to be a gathering of some of the biggest names in Ondo State, from politics, business, entertainment, among others, our traditional rulers are not going to be left out, we are also expecting guests from neighboring states. Alaba Peters concluded.

Giving further details on the event, the Media and Publicity Director, Adewoye Solomon, said although activities, such as nominations and voting has kicked off since January, the award ceremony will hold on a Sunday in the month of November 2022.

In his words, “Let me start by saying that, the process and activities for the award started in January this year, the award presentation will hold in Akure, on a Sunday, the second week of November 2022. Let me also add that, two months ago, we closed the voting process. We have about 25 categories of awards, which includes the special recognition category”.

“A total of 15 categories will be decided by general public, while the remaining 10 will be decided based on the panels’ decision. We received a good number of quality entries from across the state for this debut edition. We have our final shortlists of winners, which we are confident embody the excellence the awards stand for.”

Lastly, let me also add that, this is a strictly by Invitation event. We are introducing an electronic invites by next month. We also have some top celebrities coming in from Lagos. We will make some major announcement in the month of October, do well to follow us on all our social media pages for updates. Thank You “

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JUST IN: FG Makes U-Turn, Withdraws Order To Reopen Varsities

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The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, Monday afternoon, withdrew its circular which ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors, and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

It was reported earlier that a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice-chancellors; pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

But in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which the Director, Finance also signed, and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

Though it did not explain why. The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022, on the above
subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors, chairmen of governing councils, and vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards”

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Retired Soldiers Stage Protest In Abuja Over Pay Discrepancies [PHOTOS]

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Some retired soldiers on Monday in Abuja protested salary and pension gaps among the ranks of serving and retired military personnel.

The protesters were seen with mats and banners demanding that the federal government rectify the discrepancies.

One of the banners they carried, said, “Review the wide disparity in pay and pension across the ranks of servicing and retired personnel”

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