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Energy

FG insists on no petrol, electricity subsidies in 2021

The FG has insisted that its policy on the removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity in the 2021 budget remains.

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FG inaugurates steering committee on Covid-19 economic recovery, #EndSARS: FG creates new N25 billion Youth Fund, to increase to N75 billion in 3 years, taxes, tax, IMF, business, FAAC disbursed N617billions in April, as South-South scoop N72billions, VAT, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed says Nigeria VAT collection rate is low, NBC, Rite Foods, others to pay new tax as FG identifies new revenue streams ,,Finance Minister reveals how World Bank, AfDB pushed FG into requesting Chinese loan 

The Federal Government has insisted that it will go ahead with its policy on the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) and electricity, with no provision made in the 2021 budget for their subsidy.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a virtual public presentation of the Breakdown and Highlights of 2021 Appropriation Act on Tuesday in Abuja.

READ: FG posts 27% revenue shortfall in 2020 as budget deficit hit N6.1 trillion

What the Minister for Finance is saying

While answering a question on whether there would be a return to petrol subsidy following the reduction in petrol price about a month ago, the Minister said the answer is a flat no.

Ahmed said,

  • We are not bringing back fuel subsidy. We didn’t make provision for fuel subsidy in the budget. The impact of what was done was reducing some of the cost components that were within the template. And also related to it, on matters of electricity subsidies, no provisions have been made for subsidy for fuel and no provisions have been made for subsidy for electricity.

READ: Reps raise alarm over N200 billion unclaimed dividends in 2020

Also, while talking about the new Finance Act 2020, which took effect from 1 January 2021, Ahmed said the act adopts counter-cyclical fiscal policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by providing fiscal relief to taxpayers.

The Minister stated that the government would hold the unclaimed dividends of investors in the stock market in trust and would make the fund available when needed by an investor.

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Sigma Pensions

READ: N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund

She said:

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  • On the issue of unclaimed dividends and government’s accounts and projections, there would be as much as N850bn to be realized in the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends. Government is keeping the money in trust for the beneficiaries. At any time, a registrar or a bank confirms that this is the true and bonafide beneficiary of this fund, then the government will release from that trust fund to the investor who has it.”

READ: Nigerian Aviation: Exchange rate, 7.5% VAT suspension and other factors to determine survival – Experts

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government, in early 2020, announced the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry which culminated in the removal of petrol subsidy.
  • The government said that following a sharp drop in revenue, it was becoming increasingly unsustainable for it to continue to subsidize the product with funds that can be used for the development of critical infrastructures in the country.
  • Similarly, it also pointed out that the removal of subsidy on electricity tariff and ensuring the implementation of the right pricing for power will help attract the needed investment in that sector.

READ: FG borrows N2.8 trillion from CBN via Ways and Means

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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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Business News

Power Minister explains why power outages have risen

The Minister cited a breakdown of some National Integrated Power Plants supplying electricity to the national grid as being behind the recent power outages.

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The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman explained why power outages have increased in Nigeria citing a breakdown of some National Integrated Power Plants supplying electricity to the national grid.

The Minister disclosed this in a statement on Thursday morning, assuring Nigerians that the FG is working assiduously to restore the National grid to its previous historical levels and exceed that.

READ: Despite $1.6bn investments, Nigeria’s national grid still worrisome

What the Minister is saying

  • I sincerely regret the recent power outages across the Nation and the difficulties it has brought with it.
  • The problem is caused by the breakdown of some National Integrated Power Plants supplying electricity to the national grid. The plants are namely, Sapele, Afam, Olonrunsogo, Omotosho, Ibom, Egbin, Alaoji and Ihovbor. The Jebba Power Plant was shut down for annual maintenance.

The Minister added that seven power plants are currently experiencing gas constraints including Geregu, Sepele, Omotosho, Gbarain, Omuku, Paras and Alaoji while Shiroro hydroelectric power plant has water management issues.

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Business News

BUA Group, French company announce progress in 200,000 bpd refinery project

This is coming about 6 months after both firms signed an agreement for the supply of process technologies and the design of the facility.

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The BUA Group and Axens, a French-based petroleum technology company, have both signed a progress acknowledgement statement for the proposed BUA multi-billion-dollar integrated 200,000 barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom State.

This is coming about 6 months after both firms signed an agreement for the supply of process technologies and the design of the facility.

BUA, while making the disclosure in a statement on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, said that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, commended its Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu, for his commitment to developing lasting relationships between French and Nigerian businesses.

READ: What the $1.5 billion Port Harcourt refinery deal means to us – Maire Tecnimont

The statement said that this came as the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, paid a visit to the BUA Group Headquarters in Lagos where he handed over a personal invitation from Macron to Rabiu to attend the Choose France Summit in June in Paris representing business leaders from Nigeria and Africa.

The French minister also witnessed the signing of a progress acknowledgement statement between BUA Group and Axens of France for the proposed refinery project, according to the statement.

The statement also said that during the visit, it was announced that the BUA chairman had been appointed Chairman of the France Nigeria Investment Club.

READ: FG reacts to reports of revoking 32 refinery licenses

Sigma Pensions

While thanking the minister and Macron for their unwavering support in bringing BUA and French businesses together, Rabiu said BUA had so far initiated partnerships and had developed personal relationships with a few French businesses, including Axens.

He expressed confidence in the quality of expertise and technical know-how of the French companies BUA had partnered with.

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Rabiu pointed out that the BUA refinery would reduce the huge cost of transporting Nigerian crude offshore, refining it and bringing it back into the country when fully operational.

READ: Abdulsamad Rabiu’s stake in BUA Cement has increased by N1.2 trillion in value since listing in 2020

He said that the choice of Akwa Ibom for the refinery was due to the huge availability of raw materials and its proximity to export petroleum products to regional countries.

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The President of Axens, Jean Sentenac, in his statement, said he was pleased that the project was advancing on schedule and expressed delight for the very good cooperation between all the involved parties, reiterating the commitment of Axens in delivering the BUA Refinery Project on time and with the highest standards.

READ: FG to open LPG distribution channels in all local governments

Bottom line

The completion and take-off of the refinery owned by the BUA Group would come as a huge boost for the Federal Government’s effort to stop the importation of refined petroleum products, ensuring that the country becomes a net exporter of these products.

This will also help to conserve the scarce foreign exchange as the completion and take-off of the Dangote refinery and other similar refinery projects will help ensure self-sufficiency in the country.

The BUA Group, just a few days ago, was listed as one of the companies with an active refinery license from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

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