President Tinubu Meets EFCC Chairman and NNPC CEO to Discuss Subsidy and Financial Challenges
President Tinubu Briefed on Subsidy and Debt Crisis in Meeting with EFCC Chairman and NNPC CEO
President Bola Tinubu held a significant meeting on Wednesday with Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Mele Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). The meeting, which took place at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, aimed to discuss crucial matters pertaining to the nation’s economic landscape.
Following the meeting, Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa spoke briefly to the press, confirming that his presence was to provide the president with a comprehensive update. However, he chose not to disclose further details, promptly departing from the premises accompanied by NNPCL CEO Mele Kyari.
A day prior to this meeting, Mele Kyari had engaged in discussions with the president, during which he expressed concerns about the substantial debt owed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited by the federal government. The outstanding amount stands at a staggering N2.8 trillion, which had already been paid towards petrol subsidy. Kyari emphasized that the current subsidy system was no longer sustainable, as it severely hindered the company’s ability to allocate funds towards its primary operations.
Kyari acknowledged the recent reemergence of long queues at petrol stations, attributing it to the confusion surrounding President Tinubu’s announcement that “subsidy is gone.” The uncertainty prompted both marketers and consumers to seek clarification, resulting in the rush for petroleum products and subsequent queues. However, Kyari assured the public that the government would implement measures to mitigate the consequences of subsidy removal.
During the discussions, Mele Kyari was joined by Faruk Ahmed, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Mainstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority. Ahmed added that with the elimination of subsidy, there would no longer be a price cap on the sale of petroleum products in the country. He further affirmed ongoing conversations aimed at safeguarding consumers from exploitation.
Kyari provided insight into the financial challenges faced by the NNPCL, highlighting that since the provision of N6 trillion in 2022 and N3.7 trillion in 2023, the company had not received any payment from the federation. Consequently, the NNPCL had been shouldering the burden of the subsidy through its own cash flow, severely affecting its core operations. The CEO stressed the urgency of the government compensating the NNPC and repaying the funds spent on the subsidy, as failure to do so would pose significant challenges to the company’s financial stability.
In conclusion, Mele Kyari reiterated that the current financial situation prevented the country from affording the subsidy. He stressed the need for the federal government to settle the outstanding amount of N2.8 trillion owed by the NNPC, emphasizing the urgency in addressing the issue to ensure the company’s continued viability.