Connect with us

Business

Deregulation: Nigeria to earn ₦1tr annually, create massive jobs – Minister

Published

on

…Says conversion of petrol cars to gas begins October

The federal government has explained its decision to fully remove subsidy from petrol, saying the country stands to rake in over ₦1 trillion annually which would be deployed to fund other critical components of the economy.

Minister of state for Petroleum and Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, during an interview with some political correspondents Thursday in Abuja, also revealed that from next month (October) Nigerians can now convert cars using petroleum to gas, which he said will be more cheaper.

“It is time for Nigerians to face reality and do the right thing. What is deregulation going to do? It is going to free up a lot more money. At least from the very beginning it will save us up to a trillion and more every year. Already, we have taken up the budgetary provision for subsidy which is about N500 billion in the budget. Also, we have taken off the excess forex price that special rate that was given to NNPC which also came at a cost. So, all the money that we used to defend the naira at that time to subsidise the dollar will now be freed up for development.

“I believe that this discussion around subsidy has been a vexed issue that has captured the imagination of this country for a long time now. Successive administrations have attempted to deregulate. But sometimes, some administrations lacked the political will and at other times, the time was not good for it. And why did I say the time was not good for it? Does that imply the time is good for it now? The problem around deregulation is that people must understand first, that the product we are talking about is a derivative of crude oil. It is refined from crude oil. Therefore, it has a direct relationship with the price of crude oil. If the price of crude oil goes up, then you expect that it would reflect in the price of the derivative.

“So, the best time to achieve this we looked at was the time when crude oil prices are low so that Nigerians will get the benefit of those low prices. In March, when we announced the deregulation, the prices were low and that advantage was transferred to the consumer. So, we brought down the price of petrol. The unfortunate thing is that when we brought down the price of petrol, nobody reacted in the market place. The prices were the same. Nobody reduced their prices because price of petrol had reduced. Even bus fares, taxi fares were the same. It did not go down when we reduced the pump price of petrol. We thought that those people in the market; the transport drivers and transport owners would reduce their price. But nobody reduced their prices. But anytime there is even a kobo increase in the pump price of product, you see that people will increase their prices triple fold and four fold.”

On the plan to roll out car conversion next month, the former Bayelsa state governor said: “To give it (Deregulation) a human face, we are introducing an alternative fuel. We are giving auto gas. Gas will now become a fuel for our cars. This programme will be rolled out within the next one month. So, if you go to a filling station and you convert your car to dual capability or dual fuel, then you drive into a typical filling station you will find gas LPG, you find CNG and NLG being sold. So, if you look at the price of PMS versus the price of gas and you think that gas is cheaper which of course, it is going to be cheaper.

“Gas will even be cheaper that PMS as it is today. So you see that we are also giving an alternative to the ordinary Nigerians. You now have a situation where tricycle, I pass my neighbour generators etc will convert to gas. So, you connect your gas cylinder in your house to your generator and it becomes easier for you, cheaper and cleaner. We are not just deregulating, we are also giving you an alternative to make it easier for the average Nigerians. What I want you to begin to really understand more is how you are going to transit from fuel to gas, and you will see that you will not miss much. The average transporter will probably even be better off with gas. So we are introducing it as an alternative at least to cushion the effect so that when you go to a filling station you have options. And that programmes will be rolled out within the next one month. And it is going to create a lot of opportunities and jobs. So, you see that deregulation has not taken away the human face from this government. This government is still a government of the people and by the people.”

While urging Nigerians not to listen to the antics of the opposition elements, the Minister said: “At this moment, let Nigerians not be fooled; there are people who are ready to take advantage of every situation to create anarchy and chaos. And it is this people that are at work now. Is anybody saying that this policy direction is a wrong policy direction? That is the discussion we should be having. If it is a wrong policy direction, why has every successive government attempted to do the sane thing? Because it is something that is unsustainable. Subsidy is unsustainable. Let us look at it: Subsidy means that you buy the product at a certain price and then you reduce the price and sell it at a loss to the people. It is something that is good to do. It is something that our president would like to do so much because of his love for the common man. But is it something that can be sustained in perpetuity? You get the product and sell it less at the pump. And that is not the only subsidy. You also subsidise the effects that is used to import the product. So at the end, the subsidy is going on two ways. It is like burning your candle from both ends. How long can that candle last? So in the wisdom of the President and all of us, we felt that it was time because this subsidy is something that cannot be sustained in perpetuity. It is time for Nigerians to face reality and do the right thing.

“What is deregulation going to do? It is going to free up a lot more money. At least from the very beginning it will save us up to a trillion and more every year. Already, we have taken up the budgetary provision for subsidy which is about N500 billion in the budget. Also, we have taken off the excess forex price, that special rate, that was given to NNPC which also came at a cost. So, all the money that we used to defend the Naira at that time to subsidise the dollar will now be freed up for development. And, I believe that going forward, we will begin to see a lot more developments, a lot more money available to the government that will be put into critical infrastructure instead of being burnt in our cars.”

Sylva added that the subsidy regime was very fraudulent as only a few benefitted from it at the expense of the public.

“Let us look at subsidy critically. Who are the beneficiaries of subsidy? When a few years ago you had this subsidy scam all over the place, all the monies that were taken by all the subsidy thieves and so on, how many poor people were among those people? Subsidy only provides opportunity for rich and unscrupulous Nigerians to steal and enrich themselves at our expense, at your expense. So, ladies and gentlemen, deregulation is actually a policy direction that is good for the common Nigerian”, he added.

Continue Reading

Business

Port Harcourt Refinery to Resume Operations in December, Tinubu Assures Labour Leaders

Published

on

*We”Ll Take Decision On Suspension Of Strike At NEC Meeting Today-Ajaero

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday night, assured the leaders of the organised labour that the Port Harcourt refinery will commence operations by December 2023.

The organised labour revealed this in a statement on Wednesday night.

The labour centers also noted that the president made a series of promises following which they agreed to return to the negotiations table.

The national presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero and Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo in the statement also hailed Nigerians for supporting the nationwide protest.

Tinubu with labour leaders


“It is pertinent to inform Nigerians that the extent of the success of the protest is underlined by the request of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria; Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to meet with the leadership of the NLC and TUC in a closed-door session.

“The engagement was fruitful that immense mileage was obtained with regards to the issues that bogged down the work of the Presidential Committee on Subsidy removal and necessitated the protest viz; He committed to an immediate restructuring of the framework for engagement in line with the input of the Labour leaders.

“He let out a certainty that the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence production by December this year. He pledged to ensure that Agreement is reached on the Wage Award for Nigerian workers immediately.

“He promised to unveil a workable roadmap to the CNG alternative next week. On the strength of the president’s pledge and commitment, we have decided to return to a new and reinvigorated dialogue process to allow for full implementation.

“Once again, we thank Nigerians while we wait for the Government to fulfill its own part of the understanding as agreed with His Excellency; the President.”

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the brief meeting with the President, the President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said they deepened their discussions with the President on palliatives for workers.

He disclosed that the President explained certain things hitherto not in his nationwide broadcast to them at the meeting.

On whether the President urged them to call off the strike, Ajaero said no one person could do that disclosing however that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC would meet today (Thursday) to decide on the next line.of action.

He said, “We met with him (President Tinubu). The issues we discussed are the same issues that led to the protest today.

“He has expressed his position, made some commitments, which were taken side-by-side with what the Senate said, and we’re taking it back to the office with our colleagues to review it and release a document on our next line of action.”

Asked whether the commitments were different from the one he did during the broadcast, Ajaero, flanked by the TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo said, “We have gone deeper into them. The broadcast has broader issues, but there are one or two things that need immediate attention.”

Further asked whether the organised labour will call off the peaceful protest, he said, “No one person can call it off. That’s why I said we’ll have to go back to the office. So that they will look at it, the Exco looks at it before they come up. And by tomorrow, the NLC will equally have their NEC meeting, to look at the bigger picture.”

Asked whether the President told them to suspend the protest, he simply said, “The President is a pro-democracy activist. So he understands protests.”

Continue Reading

Aviation

Aviation Ministry, MOFI Agree on Collaboration for National Asset Register

Published

on

Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika has said a collaboration between the Aviation Ministry and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) was paramount in the Civil Aviation part of the Nigerian economy.

Sirika made this statement during a courtesy call to the Ministry by the MOFI management for collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the organisation on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Minister expressed his excitement that there was a structure for MOFI, and it has fallen into the right hand to get the mandate of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria delivered and effected appropriately.

A statement by Nawani Abdullahad, an
Assistant Director (Press) in the Ministry, said the Minister recalled that during the Nation’s Transition Committee period, there was an extensive discussion as to what contribution the aviation sector could make, and it was considered to add up to 5% to the GDP of Nigeria.

The Minister added that a road map was created for the Civil Aviation industry to create a robust sector that would be financially healthy and which would also make aviation the most preferred means of transportation.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, the CEO of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), Dr. Armstrong Takang congratulated the Minister on his recent appointment as a member of the MOFI Governing Council.

He said the appointment demonstrated Mr President’s trust in him given his vast experience in driving governance to achieve desirous outcomes, which would be valuable for MOFI in delivering significant value to its key stakeholders and its portfolio companies.
Dr Armstrong recalled that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across the economic sector, focused on holdingfederall government investments, which it had been using to invest in commercial entities for over 60 years.

However, he added that MOFI was not structured to deliver on the mandate that was expected of it, noting that its peers established at the same time and restructured to reflect current realities, had gone on to make major social and economic impacts in their respective countries. Many of them, he said, had become global brands for investing beyond their home countries’ borders.

He said, in line with the approval of Mr.President to create a comprehensive National Asset Register (NAR) by aggregating, profiling and managing all national assets and investments, the NAR would be harnessed to strengthen the nation’s fiscal and economic realities and the optimization of our investments and assets, noting that the development and modernization of the country’s airports was crucial for socio economic development.

The MOFI Chief Executive further expressed their strong interest in supporting the growth and expansion of Nigerian airlines, adding that MOFI would like to explore ways in which it can provide financing and investment for airlines to expand their fleets, enhance their devices and compete on the global stage.

He noted that the investment and collaboration would bring about mutual benefits for both MOFI and the Ministry of Aviation.

Continue Reading

Aviation

Concession: Preferred, Reserved Bidders Emerge for Abuja, Lagos and Kano Airports

Published

on

… as No Bid Received for Port Harcourt Airport

The Nigerian government on Wednesday announced the preferred bidders for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, as the Concession programme enters its final phase.

The minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika unveiled the successful bidders at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase of the Nigeria Airports Concession Programme (NACP), which came to a close on the 19 of September 2022 has seen the emergence of preferred and reserve bidders for three (3) out of four (4) Airports and Cargo Terminals as approved for concession under the programme under the supervision of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

He announced that “the preferred bidder for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium. ENL Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for NAIA. ”

“The preferred bidder for Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, is TAV/NAHCO/PROJECT PLANET LIMITED(PPL) Consortium. Sifax/Changi Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for MMIA” he said.

“The preferred bidder for Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium. There are no reserve bidders for MAKIA as at the time of this announcement,” he said.

For the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Port Harcourt, Sirika said the ministry “did not receive any proposals as of the RFP deadline close and as such has not had preferred and reserve bidders attached to it.”

He said the next stage now it’s the negotiation stage adding that the organised labour has been a part of all the negotiations that has happened and will still be part of future negotiations.

He also said no Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) official will lose their jobs.

“The next stage of the programme is the negotiations and due diligence stage, during which the Federal Government will invite preferred bidders to enter detailed negotiations with its representatives, with a view to developing a Full Business Case (FBC) before onward transmission to ICRC for review and approval. Only after successful conclusion of the negotiation and due diligence stage will the FBC and all other approvals be presented before the Federal Executive Council for final approval by the Federal Government of Nigeria” he explained.

Continue Reading

Archives

Categories

Meta

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending