NEC yet to decide on fuel pump price, subsidy removal – Gov Obaseki
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NEC yet to decide on fuel pump price, subsidy removal – Gov Obaseki




As the subject of subsidy removal wreck the hearts of the populace, The National Economic Council NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, failed to reach any substancial resolution on the contentious issue of fuel pump price, including removal of subsidy after several hours of deliberations. Instead, they dwelt on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the need for Nigerians to take the vaccination more seriously.

They equally discussed Lassa fever and cholera prevalence in parts of the country.The meeting also deliberated on the need for state governments to invest more in adolescent girls in society in order for the country to reap the gains in the future.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki who provided answers on alleged plans by the government to increase the pump price of fuel, said though a NEC committee had been deliberating on the issue for over a year, they have not reached any decision on the matter yet.

He, however, confirmed that since the Petroleum Industry Act was now in place, the country’s cash cow, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC Limited is expected to do its best in providing the required funding. Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, corroborated Obaseki’s position, saying it was not a decision of the Governors to fix the price of fuel, but a recommendation of a NEC committee headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai.

Recall that there had been insinuations that the Federal Government was bent on increasing the price of premium motor spirit from the current price of N165 to about N302. A development that has created uncertainty within the polity since the new year.

Obaseki said, “As you all know and are aware of, the issue of subsidy is one matter that NEC has deliberated on for more than a year, it was a NEC recommendation that has been meeting as to what we should do on the cost of premium motor spirit.

“The cost of PMS is about 160 to a litre whereas every other country around Nigeria cost much more.

“We have spent almost 2 trillion subsidising petroleum products. The issue now is should we continue this regime of money we do not have to continue to subsidise. We realised that less than 1/3 of the states consume all the resources put into subsidy. But NEC has not resolved on anything yet”.

Sule said, “we all know that PIA is now an Act, so if the Minister of Finance has provided for six months, we have to wait to see how the NNPC which is now a limited liability company will perform, its not the governors that would make that decision”.


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