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Economy & Politics

Minister of Petroleum explains reasons for subsidy removal

The Minister said it was unrealistic for the government to continue with the subsidy regime.

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IOCs, Nigeria, Timipre Sylva, crude oil, Minister proposes 2020 timeline for rehabilitation of Warri, Kaduna refineries , FG to cut huge energy cost through gas commercialisation initiative, FG discloses plan to sell fuel at N97 per litre , FG give reasons why it won’t allow marketers determine petrol price despite deregulation, FG explains reasons for deregulating downstream oil sector

The Federal Government has explained the reason for the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry. The government said that this was to ensure economic growth and development of the country.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, in a press statement on Thursday, July 9, 2020, in Abuja.

Sylva said that it was unrealistic for the government to still continue with the subsidy regime, especially with the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, as it had no economic value.

He asked Nigerians to ignore the misinformation and misguided comments that have been in the public space on the issue.

According to the Minster, ‘’It has become expedient for the Ministry of Petroleum to explain misconceptions around the issue of Petroleum Products Deregulation. After a thorough examination of the economics of subsidizing PMS for domestic consumption, the government concluded that it was unrealistic to continue with the burden of subsidizing PMS to the tune of trillions of Naira every year.’’

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“More so, when the subsidy was benefiting in large part the rich rather than the poor and ordinary Nigerians. Deregulation means that the Government will no longer continue to be the main supplier of Petroleum Products, but will encourage private sector to take over the role of supplying Petroleum Products.

READ MORE: DPR allays fears of possible looming fuel scarcity, says it has enough stock

He pointed out that in line with global best practices, the price of petroleum products will be determined by market forces. He, however, added that the government will continue to play its traditional role of regulation and ensure that it was not priced arbitrarily by private sector suppliers.

Sylva said that the regulatory function will be similar to that played by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the banking sector where they try to make sure that deposit money banks do not charge arbitrary interest rates on its customers.

The minister noted that the government has earlier revealed that an increase in crude oil prices would also reflect at the pump price of petroleum products.

Going further Sylva said, ‘’Indeed, one of the reasons we have been unable to attract the level of investments we desire into the refining sector has been the burden of fuel subsidy. We need to free up that investment space so that what happened in the Banking Sector, Aviation Sector and other Sectors can happen in the Midstream and Downstream Oil Sector.’’

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” We can no longer avoid the inevitable and expect the impossible to continue. There was no time government promised to reduce Pump Price and keep it permanently low. Let us, therefore, ignore the antics of unscrupulous middlemen who would want status quo ante to remain at the expense of the generality of Nigerians.,” he added.

READ MORE: NNPC releases audited financial statements, refineries record losses of N154 billion

He disclosed that the deregulation policy will attract more investments into the oil sector, create more jobs and opportunities and free up trillions of naira to develop infrastructure instead of enriching a few Nigerians.

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The minister noted that government who is mindful of the impact of higher PMS prices on Nigerians is working to roll out the auto gas scheme which will provide citizens with alternative sources of fuel at lower cost.

 

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria’s unemployment rate jumps to 27.1% as at 2020 Q2

Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% meaning about 21.7 million Nigerians remain unemployed.

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Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% indicating that about  21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.

Nigeria’s unemployment and underemployment rate (28.6%) is a combined 55.7%. This means the total number of Nigerians who are unemployed or underemployed as at 2020 Q2.

This is contained in a recently released unemployment data report published by the National Bureau of Statistics. Nigeria’s unemployment rate was 23.1% in Q3 2018 confirming it increased by 4% points between then and the second quarter of 2020.

READ MORE: Nigeria attracts more Bitcoin interest than any country globally

Key highlights

  • The number of persons in the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q2, 2020 was 116,871,186.
  • The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894. This was 11.3% less than the number persons in Q3, 2018. Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23,328,460 or 29.1% of the labour force.
  • The total number of people in employment (i.e. people with jobs) during the reference period was dwellers, it rose to 31.5% from 22.8%, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2% from 58,527,276.
  • Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were under-employed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week). This figure is 15.8% less than the people in employment in Q3, 2020
  • The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q2, 2020 was 27.1%, up from the 23.1% recorded in Q3, 2018. The underemployment rate increased from 20.1% in Q3, 2018 to 28.6%.
  • For the period under review, Q2, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 34.9%, up from 29.7%, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2% from 25.7% in Q3, 2018. These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.

The data is coming after nearly two years when the last data was published. The bureau last published jobs data in the third quarter of 2018 citing funding as a major challenge.

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READ MORE: Dangote moves to reduce unemployment rate with investments in agriculture 

Key Take-aways

  • Nigeria’s youth remain the hardest hit by unemployment with over 13.9 million people aged between 15 and 34 years unemployed.
  • The data also shows 7.6 million of this subset did nothing.
  • Women also continue to bear the brunch of bad economy with about 12.2 million out of jobs from the 27 million currently unemployed.
  • Graduates and post graduates combined made up about 2.9 million of the total Nigerians that are unemployed.
  • In a surpising data, out of the 35.5 million Nigerians that are fully employed, 28.8 million of them never attended school (6.29 million) or did not have a tertiary education (22.5).
  • In fact, most fully employed people in Nigeria with SSS (Senior Secondary School certificates) are a whopping 13.2 million.

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Business

NBC slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Info over Mailafia’s inciting comments

This was contained in a press statement which was issued by NBC on Thursday.

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NBC slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Info over Mailafia's inciting comments

The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has slammed a fine of N5m on a radio station, Nigeria Info, over the recent claim by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.

Mailafia, in an interview in one of the radio station’s programmes, claimed that some of the repentant Boko Haram militants confessed that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

This was contained in a press statement which was issued by NBC on Thursday, August 13, 2020, titled, ‘’The National Broadcasting Commission fines Nigeria Info 99.3 for Unprofessional Broadcast’’.

READ ALSO: Power: Nigeria’s deal with Siemens – the birth of a new era?

The NBC expressed its displeasure at the radio station for providing its platform to be used to promote unverifiable and inciting views that can lead to crime and public disorder.

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The NBC’s statement reads, ”The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30 am and 9.00 am. The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.”

READ MORE: NBC Code: Why video streaming platforms say ‘No’

”The Commission, again, wishes to reiterate that Broadcasters hold Licenses in trust for the people. Therefore, no Broadcast Station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.

NBC noted that Dr Obadiah’s comments on the Southern Kaduna crisis, were devoid of facts and the broadcast of such by Nigeria Info 99.3 violates some sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which include;

  • No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;
  • Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;
  • The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;
  • The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;
  • The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;
  • No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;
  • The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

The NBC further states, ”Consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only. This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide a platform for subversive rhetorics and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.”

The NBC also stated that it will not hesitate to suspend the license of broadcast stations that continue to breach to breach the broadcast code.

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Economy & Politics

FG completes 11 projects to drive Digital Economy

The government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to diversify economic productivity.

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FG completes 11 projects to drive Digital Economy, FG orders NIPOST to stop cash transactions , Pantami moves to ban automatic voicemail service by telcos  , Why Nigeria’s Data woes may not end soon , Pantami reacts to CBN’s ATM fee cut, keeps mute on directive to cut data cost , Pantami condemns FIRS move to collect stamp duty, MTN, Airtel, others disregarding Pantami’s voicemail, data directives on all front , FG warns State governments against RoW charge increase, FG reiterates commitment towards implementing broadband strategy ,FG reiterates commitment to 75% broadband penetration in 5 years 

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy announced that it has completed 11 projects to drive its Digital Economy programme.

This was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, during the phase 2 commissioning of Nigeria’s Digital Economy drive.

The Nigerian Government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to create growth and diversify economic productivity in the nation, starting with the Digital Economy drive which was added to the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s broadband penetration rises, yet internet remains slowest in the world

Nairametrics reported last month that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also approved the creation of a Digital Economy Department, which will be responsible for promoting the digital economic agenda of the federal government. The department will renew the commission’s strategy for delivering its programmes and policies, and give the necessary push to promote the national digital economy.

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The projects were launched with the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and would be operated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST ) and The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and would be located nationwide.

READ ALSO: NCC issues 10 new VAS licences in 2019, projects market to hit $500 million 

The 11 projects are:

  1. Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) llorin, Kwara State.
  2. Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) Calabar, Cross River State.
  3. School Knowledge Centre (SKC), Gombe State.
  4. Information Technology Innovation Centre, Kogi State.
  5. Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre (TIKC), Delta State.
  6. New Neighborhood Post Office, Delta State.
  7. Remodelled National Mail Exchange Centre, Bayelsa State.
  8. e-Health/Data Sharing Centre, Bauchi State.
  9. Virtual Examination Centre, Borno State.
  10. Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Jigawa State.
  11. Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Imo State.

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