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Fuel scarcity ’ll be over next week -NEC

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THE National Economic Council (NEC) comprising of the 36 state Governors and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday assured that the scarcity Of Petrol Motor Spirit (PMS) will become a thing of the past by next week.

The NEC meeting was presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

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The assurance formed part of the briefs NEC received at its second meeting in 2022 which dragged into the evening on Thursday in Abuja.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Mele Kyari, told the Council that 30 vessels laddened with petrol are expected to berth at Apapa port in Lagos between now and the end of February 2022.

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According to him, “30 vessels to deliver an additional supply of 2.3 Billion litres of PMS into the country till month-end February 2022.

“NNPC as the supplier of last resort has continued to sustain adequate petroleum products supply and distribution to the Nation despite challenges associated with the unending waves of pipeline vandalism, product theft and cross-border smuggling of PMS”.

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On the situation report on the queues noticed at filling stations as of Thursday, the NNPC boss declared that the company’s strategy is on for restoring stability in PMS supply and distribution by boosting incoming PMS supplies, recertification, and release of In-country PMS stock and enhancing distribution management.

The NEC meeting which had in attendance

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the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and some other members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) also resolved to encourage the growth of the automotive industry in Nigeria by improving patronage of locally manufactured vehicles

Briefing Council on the benefits of locally manufactured vehicles in the country, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said despite the potentials, the local automotive industry has been significantly plagued by several challenges such as weak demand for locally assembled cars, as well as lack of government patronage which could have assisted the assemblers in achieving economies of scale.

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According to him, the Nigerian Automotive Industry has been identified as one with a catalytic effect on the economy.

He, therefore, called on NEC to note that the industry has achieved US $1Billion in foreign direct investments, 63 licenses issued, over 30 Active Assemblers and demand for 400,000 vehicles per annum.

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The Trade Minister further briefed Council

that 60% of the Nigerian population is under 35 years of age and that by 2050, Nigeria’s population is expected to double (becoming the 3rd largest country in the world) with over 13.8 million youth within the labour force bracket.

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Adebayo introduced the Jubilee Fellows Programme as one of the measures to address the increasing population of unemployed youths. The programme will connect 20,000 graduates annually to opportunities in Private and Public Sector Institutions, create a talent pipeline for Private & Public Sector to draw from and provide a platform for high level public & private sector policy dialogue on Employment Creation & Talent Management, etc.

Acvotding to him, the deployment of the programme’s Cohort and First Placement is expected to be done by April 2022 with the current numbers being116,763 applications from prospective fellows received and 5,898 Private sector institutions Expressing interest to Host Fellows.

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On the programme financing, the Minister disclosed that the goal is to mobilise $260 Million over the five year Programme period adding that already European Union has committed 44Million Euros into the Fund.

The Council also received an update on the Covid-19 vaccination by the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who called on NEC to note that by March, 2022, the country needs to reach 50% of eligible vaccination at least for the first dose and that by December this year, the plan is to achieve 70% full vaccination rate.

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He added that five States namely Nasarawa, Jigawa, Ogun, Osun and Kwara including FCT are hitting the mark.

Council, therefore, resolved that state authorities should prioritize vaccination of citizens against the disease and that since Lagos, and FCT carry the highest-burden, whatever support is necessary should be made available to them.

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