The federal government has said it will soon begin consultation with the relevant agencies on the proposed removal of subsidy on petrol.
The minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed dropped the hint yesterday in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting Mohammed said he needed to consult with the relevant government agencies to determine the exact position of the subsidy removal question.
He said, “As for the removal of fuel subsidy, I think you will give me time to consult with relevant departments and ministries and I will get back to you.”
The minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had announced last October that the federal government made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022 as it looked towards a complete deregulation of the sector.
Also yesterday, an online medium, TheCable.com, exclusively reported that the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) better known as petrol may rise to N302 per litre in February 2022 as part of the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC) in November 2021.
Petrol price is currently between N162 and N165 per litre in Nigeria.
The recommendations, it said, were put forward by the NEC ad-hoc committee interfacing with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the appropriate pricing of PMS in Nigeria. The report was presented by the governor of Kaduna State and head of the committee Nasir el-Rufai.
The committee was established last year by NEC headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to look into the dwindling revenues of states.
Other members of the committee include Godwin Obaseki, Kayode Fayemi, and David Umahi, governors of Edo, Ekiti and Ebonyi states respectively; as well as Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); and Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Also yesterday, FEC approved contract awards for various projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), flood control in the six geo-political zones as well as for the Ministry of Transportation with a combined worth of about N76.78 billion.
The minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, with his FCT and Transportation counterparts, Mohammed Bello and Rotimi Amaechi, respectively, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting.
According to the FCT minister, the approvals are for the construction of Kuje 105 highway, access road and car park for Abuja Light Rail station.
The FCT has the largest share of the contracts approved for award with its two projects costing a total of about N56.2 billion.
During his briefing, the minister of Information, on his part, gave a breakdown of the 14 projects approved for award under the Ecological Fund spanning the six geo-political zones of the country.
He explained that two memos were presented on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari including the one that sought approval for the award of contracts for the 2022 emergency procurement of first and second quarters accelerated soil erosion, flood and pollution control intervention projects.
The 14 ecological project contracts were approved for award at the total cost of about N15.1 billion.
Mohammed explained: “You note that these projects are divided across the six geopolitical zones. Two in the south east, two in the south west, two in the south – south; north east has two, northwest has three, north central and FCT has three.
Mohammed pointed out that the present administration has intervened in 291 projects out of which 263 have been completed and handed over to beneficiary communities and institutions while a total of 28 are at various stages of completion.
In his address, Amaechi said he presented four memos on behalf of his ministry, which were all approved by FEC.
He said FEC approved a memo for the clearing of equipment for the deep blue project, “which will enable us to sight some of these projects in the coastal towns along the coasts,” at the cost N2.7 billion to be paid to the clearing agents.
The transportation minister Rotimi Ameachi said FEC also approved a contract for the reconstruction of the narrow gauge track from Niger to Baro
“So, there will now be a rail line from Baro to Minna to join the narrow gauge so that when cargoes come to Baro, they can then be evacuated through the narrow gauge,” he stated.
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