Governors call emergency meeting over petrol subsidy

Petrol subsidy running into billions of Naira is back and worried Nigerian governors have summoned a virtual emergency meeting to discuss the way forward.

The 36 governors under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) will meet on Wednesday.

They will also discuss the COVID-19 vaccines.

Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of NGF Secretariat, said Gov. Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, would brief his colleagues before any decisions on the supply and or retailing of the product was taken.

El-Rufai is the chairman of NGF committee on subsidy on petrol.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulation Agency (PPPRA) last week stirred great concern when it published the March guiding prices for petrol.

It set the retail price at between N209.61/litre and N212.61/litre.

It also put the ex-depot price of petrol for the month at N206.42/litre and pegged the expected landing cost at N189.61/litre.

The template triggered national outcry.

Although the NNPC and government calmed nerves, the reality is that NNPC is already incurring humongous costs above the retail price of N165-N175.

A newspaper estimated the subsidy for March at N103 billion, which will affect the revenue available to be shared by all tiers of government.

Nigeria deregulated petrol market last year.

Bello-BarkindoHe added that various issues revolving around the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out would feature prominently in the 28th teleconference meeting.

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Chairman NGF Committee said that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 would brief his colleagues on the situation with the vaccine rolled out and their attendant encumbrances.

“On his part, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Kayode Fayemi, will update his colleagues on the outcome of his meeting with the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State Universities.

“The educationists met the forum’s chairman last week and presented a number of requests which they believed would improve education at the subnational level.”

Bello-Barkindo added that the governors would also listen to the activities of the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum.

He said that the meeting, which would commence by 2p.m. would also play host to three external presentations.

He said one of the presentations would be made by the new National Drug Law Enforcement Boss, General Buba Marwa, on “Managing the Drug Crisis”.

“The Department for International Development (DFID) will be making a presentation on the NNPC Audit reports and what the states should know.

Bello-Barkindo added that the last presentation, would be speaking to trade facilitation in Nigeria through e-customs and a Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure in partnership with the British High Commission.

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