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Petrol Subsidy Fueling Vicious Cycle Of Poverty In Nigeria — NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited says the country’s petrol subsidy regime has been “fuelling the vicious cycle of poverty” in the nation.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 133 million citizens in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, are multidimensionally poor.

According to Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, multidimensional poverty encompasses deprivations experienced by poor people, such as poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, and living in environmentally hazardous areas.

Speaking at a joint National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)/Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) event on Thursday, Lawal Musa, senior business advisor to Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPC, said the federal government spends as much as N4.8 trillion annually on petrol subsidy, at the expense of the wellbeing of Nigerians.

In a presentation titled, “petroleum industry act (PIA) and the Nigerian economy’’, he said the amount spent on petrol subsidy payments could deliver infrastructural projects to the citizens.

Further analysing the opportunity cost of the subsidy spending, Musa said deregulation of petrol prices could deliver 500,000 new houses and skill up of 2 million Nigerian students, among others.

According to Musa, the amount spent on subsidy could provide 7,500 kilometers of road network at N400 million per kilometre and 37 well-equipped 120-bed tertiary health centres at N32 billion per hospital annually.

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He added that the subsidy spend could deliver N12 trillion in four years to Nigeria, adding that the cost of petrol subsidy surpasses the direct benefits to the masses.

In addition, the NNPC GCEO adviser said deregulation of PMS prices could also provide additional 27,000 megawatts of electricity to Nigerians as well as build and equip 2,400 hospitals in 774 local government areas.

“Nigeria is the largest producer of crude oil in Africa, possessing 28 percent of Africa’s reserve, with petroleum contributing significantly to the country’s economy,” he said.

“The benefits derived have over the years been eroded due to the amount paid on subsidy, a regime [that] has been fuelling the vicious circle (sic) of poverty in the country.”

Musa explained that petrol was sold at the lowest price in Nigeria, among most West African countries, in spite of the average cost of $2.7 per litre globally, which amounted to about N570 per litre.

He noted that verifiable petrol demand data is critical to national planning and energy security.

On his part, Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC’s spokesperson, said the organisation was engaging with students as critical stakeholders in the new organisation, which he said belonged to over 200 million Nigerians — including the students.

Muhammad said the engagement, which would be done annually, was aimed at enlightening the students and CSOs on NNPC as a new entity, registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

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UBA Takes Centre Stage At 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum In Cotonou, Benin As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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JUST IN: FG Working To Reduce Rising Food Prices Inherited From Past Government — Finance Minister Wale Edun

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Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government.

He, however emphasized the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Speaking at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, the finance minister acknowledged the hardships faced by Nigerians and outlined measures taken to alleviate their suffering.

He revealed that, as part of these interventions, the government has released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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JUST IN: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Representatives

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A bill proposing the establishment state police has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, deputy speaker of the house, and 14 others, the bill proposes to transfer the term “police” in the 1999 constitution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

The bill, which comprises 18 clauses, seeks to amend sections 34, 35, 39, 42, 84, 89, 129 153, 197, 214, 215 and 216 of the constitution.

 

More to come…

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