By Lawrence Olaoye
The National Economic Council (NEC) has mandated its committee interfacing with all federal government revenue generating agencies to engage the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to determine the appropriate price of fuel in order to stem the scarcity of the product in the country.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the monthly NEC meeting chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the Bauchi state governor, Abubakar Mohammed, said the committee led by his Gombe state counterpart, Ibrahim Dankwambo, was mandated to consider the pump price of fuel in the nation’s neighbouring countries before arriving at the price.
The Council also recommended full deployment of military across the country to collaborate with the police and other security agencies in order to stem the rising spate of herders/farmers clashes leading to death of the citizens.
On the scarcity of fuel and Council’s recommendation for its resolution, Mohammed said “The second issue that was discussed was the issue of the scarcity of petroleum product. The problem was addressed by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC. The issue is of course caused by an inter-play of the exchange rate of the Naira and the Dollar and the price of crude oil at the international market which affects the landing cost of refined products in Nigeria. And in the process makes the operation of the current price regime almost impossible.
“As at today, most if not all independent marketers have stopped importing refined products into Nigeria. It is only the NNPC that has been doing it. And the NNPC has been suffering a lot of set backs. The highest amount of under recovery. By under recovery it means the inter-play between the landing cost of a liter of the PMS in Nigeria and the pump price of that product. If the product lands at N170 for example and you sell at N145, immediately you know that you have an under recovery of about N25 for each liter of fuel.
So he submitted his report and the National Economic Council has a committee that has been interfacing with all revenue generating agencies of the federal government under the chairmanship of the governor of Gombe State. That committee has been charged with the responsibility of interfacing with NNPC with a view to determining the correct price for PMS considering the price of the product in, especially, countries that are bordering Nigeria. Because that is one of the reasons that encourages smuggling of the products to these areas.”
Neighbouring countries bordering Nigeria include Republic of Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.
On herders/farmers clashes, the governor said the Vice President reported to the Council that the sub-committee constituted to consult with stakeholders chaired by the Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, was working round the clock.
According to the governor “They (Working Group) have recommended to Mr. President that in all areas where these clashes are prevalent, the military should be moved in to buttress whatever the Nigeria Police and other security agencies are doing in forestalling the problems.
The committee has recommended strongly that the military should move into all forests or areas where the clashes are prevalent with the view to flashing out all bandits hiding in those areas.”
Lagos state Deputy Governor, Oluranti Adebule, who also briefed said the Council received the final report on the Forensic Audit of Revenue Accrued from Revenue Generating Agencies (RGAs) into Federation Account (FA), Excess Crude Account (ECA) and Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
She added that the report was prepared by KPMG, and audited 18 Agencies including NNPC, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), NIMASA, NPA, NCC, CBN, DPR, NPDC and many others.
Special Adviser to the President of Social Intervention Program (SIP), Mrs Mariam Uwais, also disclosed that total Direct Beneficiaries from all the SIP Programme was 7,812,201 with Secondary Beneficiaries put at 1,500,000, mainly farmers and cooks. The total annual spending on the SIP 2016 and 2017 at 15.58% of the budget.