By Chesa Chesa
The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday received and discussed the initial report of its Ad-Hoc Committee interfacing with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the complete deregulation of the downstream sub-sector of the industry, and appropriate pricing of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
Observations and comments were made and it was resolved that an updated version will be submitted by the Committee, inclusive of observations raised at the meeting, and then an updated report be made to the NEC for further action.
The outcome of full deregulation of the sector will translate to sharp increase on the pump price of petrol in the country.
This resolution comes even as the Council noted that the Federal Government is working out modalities of providing Autogas conversion kits, and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), mass transit buses to major cities nationwide as cheaper alternatives to PMS/petrol for transportation and fuel.
In the same vein, the Council received updates on the FG Budget Support Facility to States as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning informed the Council that with the agreement reached on the matter with the CBN providing a bridge financing facility to the States, deductions from State Governments will now commence from July.
Regarding panels of enquiries in the States on EndSARS protests, Vice President Osinbajo noted that a number of States had submitted their reports and more reports are being awaited. He encouraged State governments to turn in the reports while noting that the panels are still sitting in some States.
According to the Vice-President, the Council will have a full consideration on the reports from the States, make a compilation of the reports and review the implementation options.
So far, reports have been received from Ekiti, Enugu and Nasarawa while more reports are being awaited.
Osinbajo also encouraged the States that have not completed the panel’s work to send in interim reports.
In addition, the Council received a presentation on Flood Disaster Risk Management in Nigeria for 2021 by the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
It urged State Governments to take proactive and necessary mitigative measures in addressing the envisaged 2021 flood disaster in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, while encouraging relevant Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to take necessary actions.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning gave the Council an update on the underlisted accounts as follows:
1. EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA)
Balance as at 13th July, 2021:- $60,852,533.19
2. STABLIZATION ACCOUNT
Balance as at 13th July, 2021:-N26,346,419,015.43
3. DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ACCOUNT
Balance as at 13th July, 2021:-N23,573,977,607.78