The National Economic Council (NEC) Thursday received and discussed the initial report of its Ad-Hoc Committee interfacing with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the complete deregulation of the downstream sub-sector of the industry, and appropriate pricing of petrol.
Laolu Akande, the spokesman of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in a statement issued after the meeting presided over by his principal, said observations and comments were made and it was resolved that an updated version would be submitted by the Committee inclusive of observations raised and an updated report be made to the National Economic Council for further action.
Akande said the Council also noted that the Federal Government was working out modalities of providing Autogas conversion kits, and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/ Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), mass transit buses to major cities nationwide as cheaper alternatives to PMS/petrol for transportation and fuel.
He said the council received updates on the FG Budget Support Facility to States as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning informed the Council that with the agreement reached on the matter with the CBN providing a bridge financing facility to the States, deductions from State Governments will now commence from July.
The presidential aide said NEC urged State Governments to take proactive and necessary mitigative measures in addressing the envisaged 2021 flood disaster in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic while encouraging relevant Federal ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to take necessary actions.
Ahead of next week’s Sallah festivities, the council urged strict adherence to the COVID-19 response guidelines across the country, after receiving a regular state performance report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
According to the report, the Coronavirus positivity rate has gone up in the country just as 3 cases of the Delta variant have now been detected.
The NCDC, therefore, urged the Council to ensure the sustenance of effective COVID-19 response nationwide, while improving public health awareness, adherence to public health, and social measures.
The NEC Ad-hoc Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 led by Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor, while briefing the meeting, said State Governors will continue to monitor the situation for the next one week to see if there will be need for an emergency Ad-hoc committee meeting on the situation.
The Council also received an update on cholera cases in some parts of the country.