Nigeria: President Seeks Additional N2.55trn for Petrol Subsidy

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Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Assembly to grant him additional N2.557trillion to enable him deal with petrol subsidy payments this year.

In a letter proposing an amendment to the 2022 annual national budget, Buhari proposed an 18-month extension for the implementation of the petroleum industry law to cater for subsidy shortfall.

In 2021, petrol subsidy was recorded as having gulped N1.4trillion. If approved by the National Assembly, the federal government will continue to cater for the costly subsidy on PMS.

“It has become necessary to present this amendment proposal considering the impacts of the recent suspension of the Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy removal and the adverse implications that some changes made by the National Assembly in the 2022 Appropriation Act could have for the successful implementation of the budget,” the letter he sent to the Senate read.

“It is important to restore the provisions made for various key capital projects in the 2022 Executive Proposal (see details in Schedule l) that were cut by the National Assembly.”

According to him, this is to ensure that critical ongoing projects that are cardinal to this administration, and those nearing completion, do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding.

“It is equally important to reinstate the N25.81 billion cut from the provision for the Power Sector Reform Programme to meet the Federal government’s commitment under the financing plan agreed with the World Bank,” he said.

“In addition, it is necessary to reinstate the four (4) capital projects totalling N1.42 billion in the Executive Proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that were removed in the 2022 Appropriation Act.

“Furthermore, there is critical and urgent need to restore the N3 billion cut from the provision made for payment of mostly long outstanding Local Contractors’ Debts and Other Liabilities as part of our strategy to reflate the economy and spur growth (see Schedule I).

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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