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Buhari’s assent to PIB to end subsidy – Sylva

"But the president assent to the passed PIB will end subsidy in the country", he said.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will automatically end  fuel subsidy as the legislation only state that market forces should determine fuel and allied products’ prices.

Slyva disclosed this in Abuja Monday evening  at a media briefing to commemorate Nigeria’s golden anniversary membership of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Speaking on subsidy payment, the minister said the federal government would have removed subsidy long ago but the opposition to it was one of the reasons that the subsidy was yet to be removed.

“But the president assent to the passed PIB will end subsidy in the country”, he said.

He said Nigeria would still make a lot of revenue from crude oil as the black gold was not going away so soon.

He also used the occasion to launch a book, ‘Nigeria and OPEC; 50 Years of Partnership, 1971-2021’.

According to him, oil will continue to be needed to power global economic growth in order to eradicate poverty which is still prevalent worldwide.

He noted that OPEC’s role of stabilising the oil market for the benefit of all stakeholders will therefore continue to be required in the years ahead.

He said: “Nigeria as a key player in the industry will continue to lend full support to the efforts of the Organisation to balance the oil market for the benefit of all. Nigeria’s membership of OPEC is very important, as it helps in strengthening shared values and protecting the group interest in the light of the above narratives.

“As a part of this celebration, It’s my great pleasure to launch the book “Nigeria and OPEC: 50 years of partnership, 1971-2021”, which is an updated version of the one published in 2006 to mark the 35th anniversary. It is a way to document and honour our past so that future generations can be adequately informed and inspired.

“The book gives a great insight into our people, culture, The relationship between Nigeria and OPEC, without doubt, has been of mutual benefits to both parties. Exactly 50 years ago on the 12th day of July 1971, at the 24th meeting of the OPEC Conference held in Vienna, Austria, Nigeria was admitted into the Organisation as its 11th member

“This makes today, the 12th day of July 2021, the Golden Anniversary of a successful partnership between Nigeria and OPEC.”

He also said that over the past 50 years Nigeria had produced six presidents of the OPEC conference.

He named the presidents to include Shettima Ali Monguno (1972/73), Malam Yahaya Dikko (1982/83), Dr Rilwanu Lukman (1986- 89, 2002), Prof. Jibril Aminu, (1991), Dr Edmund Daukoru (2006) and Dr Ibe Kachikwu (2015).

He said, “They have in total, presided over 26 OPEC ministerial conferences held in several countries. It is appropriate and important to mention that our president Muhammadu Buhari also served as head of Nigeria delegation to OPEC from 1976 to 1978 and has continued to engage with the organisation, lending his unflinching support to OPEC laudable endeavours.

“It is on record that he played a crucial role in negotiating the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) between OPEC and participating non-OPEC oil producing countries +which has continued to be backbone for the survival of the oil industry during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

The minister added that Nigeria had also provided four OPEC Secretary Generals namely Chief MO Feyide 1975/1976, Dr Rilwanu Lukman (1986/88), Dr Edmund Daukoru (2006) and the incumbent Mohammad Barkindo.