The Federal government spent over N2trillion on petrol subsidy in four years according to the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

He disclosed this at a downstream stakeholders’ meeting which held at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja, according to a statement issued by the spokesperson of the corporation, Kennie Obateru, on Friday.

Kyari also stated that concrete steps had been taken to address the main concerns of marketers, especially the issue of availability of foreign exchange.

He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had already taken the first step of merging all foreign exchange windows to have a unified exchange rate.

The NNPC boss was quoted as saying, “It is really not in our interest to be the sole importer of PMS in the country.

“We have taken definite steps to exit the situation. This is a definite step taken and the details would be communicated to stakeholders like MOMAN, DAPMAN, IPMAN and others outside this forum.”

Kyari said there were plans by the government to inject about N2.7tn into the economy to stimulate production, stabilise the exchange rate and cushion the inflationary effect of the pump price increase.

He stated that in response to the concerns raised recently by members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners over the state of roads, especially those on the Niger State axis, the Federal Government had commenced road repair works to allay their fears.

The NNPC helmsman said measures had been put in place to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products for the end of year festivities and the projected increase in movement of people across the length and breadth of the country.

Kyari said the Federal Government was keen on driving the deregulation programme to create value for the country and ensure that Nigerians enjoyed the benefits.

In his remarks, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Sarki Auwalu, who was represented by the agency’s Assistant Director, Depots, Products and Jetties, Bashir Sadiq, said government was interested in opening up the downstream sector, adding that the DPR was in support of NNPC’s initiatives in the sector.

We borrowed N1bn to repair airports- Hadi Sirika.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that N1bn was borrowed from the Chinese for the concession of the airports.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group on Thursday, he said that the compliance certificate for the concession of the nation’s airports has been received.

Four of the nation’s International airports are up for concession. They are the airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.

Sirika said, “Currently, we borrowed about N1bn from the Chinese to put into our four airports. If we were to have made the decision at the time, we would not have borrowed money to put into the airport. We would have ‘concessioned’ the airports and used other peoples’ money to achieve what we want and get a better deal in the end.

“The current government is social democratic in nature. We will not be selling public assets. They belong to the people. We will concession them and get them back at a later date and re-concession them and get them back. It makes more sense for us to get people whose business is to run the airports.”

The minister stressed that concession would not stop at the four airports singled out for the purpose. He said airport concession would be handled on a case by case basis.

Making a case for a national carrier, Sirika said Nigeria deserved one.

He said it may not be branded with the country’s name but it should be able to do something close to what Ethiopian Airlines is doing.

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