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Just In: President Buhari Unveils E-Naira

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Just In: President Buhari Unveils E-Naira
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Just In: President Buhari Unveils E-Naira

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday unveiled the e-Naira.

Buhari launched the country’s digital currency at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The event had in attendance the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele; Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; among others.

Akelicious recalls that the digital currency was billed to be unveiled on October 1 but was shifted due to activities on Independence Day.

The country’s apex bank had said the e-Naira is a culmination of several years of research work in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier.

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CBN noted that the launch of the digital currency is a major step forward in the evolution of money.

The bank vowed to ensure that the e-Naira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.

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Fuel subsidy: CSOs urge FG to end N250bn monthly payment

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Fuel subsidy: CSOs urge FG to end N250bn monthly payment

Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria operating under the aegis of the “Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development” (CED) have decried a monthly payment of N250 billion for fuel subsidy, saying if nothing was done by the Federal Government to end the regime, it would further cause economic catastrophe.

In a seven-point communique after a conference of the coalition which was held simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja, a copy of which was made available to DAILY POST on Friday, the Coalition urged the Federal Government to be committed to the planned ending of the fuel subsidy regime, adding that it was the right step towards recovering the nation’s economy.

The Coalition, which comprised of 82 Civil Society Coalitions, insisted that Nigeria’s economy is about one of the most volatile in the world, recalling that there was a time a barrel of crude oil was sold for $150, but for the past six years, it has reduced to $60, a situation the group lamented, was unsustainable.

In the conference, titled: “Fuel Subsidy Removal in Nigeria”, it was pointed out, would recycle the economy on the part of productivity and growth, if the amount being paid as a cost of fuel subsidies were channelled into the provision of infrastructure and other social sectors of the economy.

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The communique which was signed by the convener, Com. Yusuf Dan Maitama and the Secretary, Com. Badaru Ayewoh further recommended that the fuel subsidy regime should be stopped effective from January 2022.

They further identified the subsidy regime as a major challenge that was forcing the Federal government into external borrowings, while expressing optimism that the end of fuel subsidy would recoup funds into the national treasury well enough for developments.

Part of the communique read: “That the resource persons who are world-class researchers in the oil and gas industry extrapolated issues bordering on Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, and identified Nigeria’s major economic challenges as that of the active fuel subsidy regime.

“In the group discussions, participants were unanimous that Nigeria was the only country in the world that sustained fuel subsidy regime for the past 20 years.

“The fuel subsidy regime was a capitalist and elitist policy that services only the top-heavy, hence, successive governments found it difficult to implement their economic policies.

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“It was pointed out that the Federal government of Nigeria spends N250 billion on fuel subsidy every month. The development, discussants averred was largely responsible for national debts as revenue coming into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account are used to settle the fuel subsidy.”

Fuel subsidy: CSOs urge FG to end N250bn monthly payment

The group pleaded with the organised labour not to embark on strike on account of ending subsidies, while they asked the Federal government to forward a budget for N5000 grants to be disbursed to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal in 2022.

“That the Federal Government of Nigeria should end fuel subsidy regime effect from 1st January 2022 in order the save the sum of N250 billion monthly as the economy of Nigeria has become very fragile given the financial burden orchestrated by the subsidy regime.

“That Nigeria is a monolithic economy as such, revenue earnings must be jealously guarded and which should be channeled into road construction, power, education, health and development of its youth.

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“That the organised labour should be considerate and not embark on strike action in the circumstance that the Federal government has ended fuel subsidy regime, given the reversal of huge resources back into the Federal government coffers.

“That the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry should strictly enforce the provisions of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which came into effect after it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“That the Federal Government, private and public sectors should embark on sensitisation of Nigerians on the need for immediate removal of fuel subsidy in order to save the nation from further financial hemorrhage.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria should forward the budgetary provision of N5000 grant to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal to the two arms of the National Assembly for legislative debate before the passage of 2022 budget.

“The Civil Society Coalition commends the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited for his commitment to the stability of oil and gas industry in Nigeria,” it added.

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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations

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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations

NCAA Approves Opening Of Anambra International Cargo And Passenger Airport Effective December 2nd, 2021.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued authority to Anambra state government to open
Anambra International Cargo And Passenger Airport for commercial operations with effect from 2nd December, 2021.

In a letter dated 1st December, 2021, addressed to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state, the aviation authority said that it has received security clearance from relevant security agencies for the opening. It said that the negative security clearance was the reason the authority had declined approval for the opening of the airport on the 30th of October 2021, when the state government had scheduled the commissioning.

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In the interim, Category B aircrafts are permitted to land and take off from the airport from sunrise to sunset.

Speaking on the development, Anambra state Commissioner for Works, Engineer Marcel Ifejiofor praised the efforts of Governor Obiano who never relented, even while on vacation to ensure that the Anambra airport becomes operational ahead of the Christmas 2021 mass return of Ndi Anambra living in the diaspora, and other visitors.

With this NCAA clearance, airlines already approved by the relevant authorities to operate at the Anambra airport such as Airpeace, Ibom Air, United Nigeria and others are expected to start scheduling flights into and out of the airport immediately.

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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations

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Petrol May Sell Above ₦340/Litre, Marketers Plan Imports Amidst Forex Crisis

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Petrol May Sell Above ₦340/Litre, Marketers Plan Imports Amidst Forex Crisis
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Petrol May Sell Above ₦340/Litre, Marketers Plan Imports Amidst Forex Crisis

The pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, may go higher than the projected N340/litre in February 2022 when the Federal Government removes its subsidy on the commodity, oil marketers said on Tuesday.

Also, it was gathered that both independent and major oil marketers were perfecting plans to resume PMS imports once the government halts the subsidy regime.

They, however, expressed worry over the fluctuation in foreign exchange rates and how this would impact on petrol price next year.

For about four years, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has been the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria. Marketers stopped importing the commodity due to their inability to effectively access the United States dollar for imports.

Last week, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, announced at a World Bank event in Abuja that petrol would sell for between N320 and N340 per litre from February 2022 by which time the Federal Government have removed the subsidy.

He explained that Nigeria would be out of the subsidy regime in the first quarter of next year, stressing that subsidy would have been eliminated this year but was stalled due to certain conditions.

The current pump price of petrol at filing stations is between N162 and N165/litre, although the product is mostly sold at the upper N165/litre rate due to recent challenges in the downstream oil sector.

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But marketers told our correspondent on Tuesday that the cost of petrol would be higher than the projected N320 – N340/litres if there was no improvement in the foreign exchange rate.

Dealers under the aegis of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria stated that though they were set to import petrol, the cost of the commodity would be high in February.

IPMAN and PETROAN members own bulk of the filling stations across the country and currently make purchases from depots before selling to final consumers at their various retail outlets.

“Yes, if there is no subsidy, some marketers can import, but the only thing is that it will be costly. The price will be higher than the projected cost because of the exchange rate,” the National Vice President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, stated.

He added, “The challenge of accessing forex will definitely affect imports because over 90 per cent of petrol that will be consumed across the country will depend on importation. Also this is because the refineries are not functioning.”

The National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, also stated that the foreign exchange rate would determine the cost of petrol from next year after subsidy removal.

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He said, “If the Federal Government says there is no going back on subsidy removal this time round, which is a challenge that has dragged on for about 30 years, then it means that they are going to liberalise the market.

“By liberalising the market it will now help independent and major marketers to be able to freely import petroleum products from any source so that products will be available in Nigeria.”

He added, “However, it is pertinent to note the forces of demand and supply will determine the price of the commodity in Nigeria. So literally, whatever the dollar rate is in the international and local markets will pose the actual challenge to marketers

“The issue of black market and official exchange rates is a serious challenge that we foresee. But we believe that the Federal Government is doing something by meeting with the bureau d’change operators on this, so that whatever is obtainable at the banks is what you get in the open market.”

On whether the forex issue could lead to a higher price than the projected N340/litre, Chinedu replied, “Aside from the adverse effects of the removal of subsidy on the wellbeing of Nigerians, we will, of course, see a price that is higher than what they project.

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“The price will be higher. It will be higher because the dollar to a large extent determines the price of petroleum products. If the dollar goes up, the price of petrol will increase, and vice versa.”

The President PETROAN, Billy Gillis-Harry, confirmed the position of IPMAN, as he, however, explained that members of his association were ready to import the commodity.

He said, “At PETROAN we already have a vehicle that is in place to start importation petroleum products, gas and other products. We encourage the government to completely remove subsidy.

On the possibility of higher pump price than the projected N340/litre, Gillis-Harry said, “That is why we said that every single thing about petroleum products should be premised on the forces of the market.

“The forces of demand and supply should determine the price.”

The spokesperson of NNPC, Garba-Deen Muhammad, told our correspondent that the issue of petrol pricing was not the function of the oil firm.

“Price issues are policy matters. NNPC does not fix price, it has no mandate. It operates in the sector as a business concern governed by CAMA Laws,” he stated.

Marketers, however, urged the government to consider carrying out programmes that would help ameliorate the plights to be faced by consumers when it eventually puts an end to petrol subsidy.

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