Nigeria saving $4.5m daily from PMS deregulation— FG

By Sebastine Obasi, Michael Eboh & Ediri Ejoh 

The Federal Government, yesterday, said the country was saving $4.5 million daily, (about N1.395 billion) from the deregulation of petroleum products. This came as indications emerged yesterday that more tank farms were running out of petroleum products in Apapa area of Lagos as a result of the lingering problem of foreign exchange scarcity. *Gas pipelines Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed news of the saving during the Second Presidential Economic Communications Workshop, organized by Office of the Vice President in Abuja. According to her, the deregulation of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, is part of the critical measures introduced by the Presidency to aid economic recovery and guarantee diversification. She added that the action helped reduce the importation of PMS which consumed $7.9 billion, about 30 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange, in 2015. She further stated that the deregulation policy had brought about a 50 per cent reduction in the daily truck-out from loading depots. “Average daily truck-out reduced from 1,005, prior to deregulation period to 542 for the period after deregulation,’’ she said. The Minister noted that the Federal Government was also committed to tackling challenges inhibiting private sector participation in the upstream petroleum sector and building on the petroleum products deregulation, disclosing that as at mid-October 2016, the Federal Government had released about N2.5 trillion from the N6.06 trillion 2016 budget, representing 41.25 budget implementation as at October 2016. She said total revenue inflow was short of the budget by N1.065 trillion, representing 55.2 per cent of total budget as at June 2016. Giving a breakdown of the releases as at October, Mrs. Ahmed explained that N753 billion was for capital projects, a significant part of which was devoted to infrastructure and related projects, while N108 billion was for overhead. In addition, she said N117 billion was released for statutory transfers; N142 billion for consolidated pensions, N1.2 trillion for personnel and N135 billion for service wide.

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