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World Bank Condemns Nigeria Consistent Spending On Petrol Subsidy

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World Bank Condemns Nigeria Consistent Spending On Petrol Subsidy
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri-Source the Punch
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World Bank Condemns Nigeria Consistent Spending On Petrol Subsidy

The World Bank has decried the continued spending by the Nigerian government on petrol subsidy, which it said is on track to gobble up N2.9tn this year.

Its Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, who spoke on Monday at a panel session during the 27th National Economic Summit, said the country could channel the money being spent on subsidy to primary healthcare, basic education and rural roads.

“This year, Nigeria is on track to spend N2.9tn on PMS subsidy, which is more than it spends on health,” he said.

Also speaking at the session, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government had made provision for petrol subsidy till the end of June next year.

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“In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year; the second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry,” she said.

The World Bank director, who likened Nigeria to a malnourished individual needing urgent treatment, said some critical decisions need to be made now for the country to realise its potential.

He said, “I think the urgency of doing something now is because the time is going in terms of retaining the hope of young Nigerians in the future and potential of Nigeria. The kinds of things that could be done right away – the petrol subsidy; yes, I hear that six months from now, perhaps with the PIA(Petroleum Industry Act) coming into effect, this will go away.

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World Bank Condemns Nigeria Consistent Spending On Petrol Subsidy

“But the fact is can Nigeria even afford to wait for those six months? And there is a choice: N3tn to PMS subsidy which is depriving states of much-needed revenues to invest in basic services.”

The Chairman, Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Prof. Doyin Salami, said he had argued for a long time that subsidy really needed to go.

He said, “With the PIA essentially it makes illegal petrol subsidy and yes, there is a period where NNPC and the new regulatory agencies must calibrate themselves, but at the end of this period – and I think it is about six months, which explains why the minister has said for the first half of the year, there is provision.

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“My view will be if we could get it done sooner than that, it will be excellent. It releases money. The key point is simply this: we are now, any which way, at the tail end of that conversation, except if we choose not to obey the law. My sense is we will obey the law and subsidy will be gone.”

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Lagos: MSSN Alagbado Holds Maiden Edition Of Business Summit

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Lagos: MSSN Alagbado Holds Maiden Edition Of Business Summit
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Lagos: MSSN Alagbado Holds Maiden Edition Of Business Summit

By Sodiq Lawal

As part of its commitment to alleviating financial constraints and to better the lives of Muslims in Nigeria, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Alagbado Central Branch in Lagos state on Sunday held the first edition of business summit.

The summit themed: “Business Resilience’ which was held at Palmroof Event Center at Mao Junction, Alakuko area of the state is aimed at contributing to the economic empowerment of MSSN members and Muslims in general.

Ustaz Ibrahim Fadipe, the Amir, MSSN Alagbado Central Branch in his welcome address said: “It’s my special pleasure to welcome you all to the maiden edition of the Business summit organized by MSSN Alagbado central branch. It’s a program that was conceived to contribute our quota to the economic empowerment of our members and Muslims in general.

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“We believe youth organizations should now focus on solving societal problems and at MSSN Alagbado, we want to set the pace for others. We started with skills acquisition program in October where we trained 20 people on different skills and as a follow-up program, we set up this program to educate, motivate and support our members to grow their business.

“To achieve this, we have invited erudite scholars, business management gurus and CEOs of great businesses to dissect the central theme of this edition which is ” Business Resilience”.

“I am confident of their competence and ability to do justice to the topic and am very sure you will enjoy their delivery.”

Delivering his keynote address, the Amir MSSN Ojokoro Area Council, Mallam Mutohir Arogundade lauded the efforts of the MSSN Alagbado executives for organizing the summit.

He encouraged the participants to be creative, have a good management and be reliance on others in order to have a suitable business.

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Mr. Abdul Wasii Olufemi, an astute management professional and a business consultant while speaking on the topic ‘Developing Business Plan and Financial Projection’ urged participants to be excellent in business and need to be at the cutting edge of their industry, own the space.

He said: “Our businesses must be resilient and agile enough to adopt to change quickly and they must leverage on technology and innovation in service delivery because business is no longer the same.”

He explained the need for every business owner to always grow digital and online, adding that using technology will make business to grow well.

“The future is hinged on technology, so apart from the global trend, locally we continue to see that technology is now about 18% of GDP. ICT is the fastest-growing sector of the economy. Apart from that, technology and digital transformation is not just a megatrend, it underpins all the other megatrends in finance, engineering, and climate action which is topical right now,” he said.

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Lagos: MSSN Alagbado Holds Maiden Edition Of Business Summit

Also speaking, Mr. Shefiu Olabanjo, a chartered accountant and a business coach, while speaking on the topic ‘Business Challenges To Anticipate And Overcome’, appealed to all business owners to always work in team in order to have a suitable sustainable business.

He urged participants to always be thinking strategic, comply with regulatory and take advantage of technology so that their businesses can thrive.

Other discussants at the summit include Mr. Ibikunle Waliyullah (CEO Idea Global Link Intl’), MSSN stakeholders and host of others.

This medium reports that the participants of the summit had earlier submitted a business proposal each to the MSSN Alagbado and Mrs Ojedele Balikis’s proposal was marked as the best and she was given a sum of hundred thousands (100,000naira) for her business.

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VP Osinbajo says ‘’Nigeria needs unifiers, not just achievers”

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VP Osinbajo says ‘’Nigeria needs unifiers, not just achievers”
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VP Osinbajo says ‘’Nigeria needs unifiers, not just achievers”

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria needs not just achievers, but more importantly men and women who are bridge-builders and unifiers, who see the country’s ethnic diversity as a source of strength, and not as a point of difference.

Osinbajo said this on Saturday during the turbaning ceremony of some prominent persons in Bida emirate, Niger State.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Nigeria needs unifiers, Osinbajo says at Bida Emirate turbaning ceremony’.

Earlier, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Dr Yahaya Abubakar, conferred on the Vice-President the ‘Garkuwan Yamma Nupe’ which means ‘the Defender of Nupe Kingdom.’

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Speaking after his turbaning, the Vice President noted that the conferment of the titles was a fresh call to service to the Bida community and the nation, adding that “our country needs men and women who understand that all men and women regardless of race and faith deserve to be treated equally, fairly and justly.”

He also restated the Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing security nationwide.

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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
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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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