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Fuel Subsidy Remains For Now – Timipre Sylva

The signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law by President Muhammadu Buhari does not translate into automatic removal of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva has assured.

Sylva, in an SMS to The Nation by his Special Adviser on Media, Malam Garba Muhammad said: “We’ll engage you (reporters) on this at the appropriate time.”

Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) also holds the same view.

Its Executive Secretary, Mr. Clement Isong, said: “No minister will provide transitional regulations leading to removal of subsidies now.”

Sylva had earlier said once the bill becomes a law, subsidy would seize to be.

Also yesterday, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammad Barkindo, said the new law would assist the nation attain 4 million barrels production per day.

Barkindo, in a congratulatory letter to the President, added the law ”will help harness Nigeria’s potential to achieve its programme of raising oil production to 4 mb/d and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy.”

A part of the message reads: ”I wish to extend my congratulations to you on signing into law the PIB, which marks a significant milestone for Nigeria’s oil industry and an historic achievement for your Presidency.

“With the stroke of a pen, you have inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector.

“Mr. President, your signature on the PIB caps many years of important deliberations and detailed legislative work.

“I am confident the law marks the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity that will be beneficial to the petroleum industry and ultimately to the Nigerian people.”

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) also commended the President for signing the bill.

Its National Vice President Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi added that the new law would lead to the appreciation of the naira and lessen forex challenge in the industry.

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