The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it has yet to harmonise efforts with states to set up palliative measures ahead of the June 2023 deadline for the discontinuation of petrol subsidy set up.

It, however, said concerned committees would soon conclude discussions with key stakeholders as the administration winds down.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, revealed this to State House Correspondents shortly after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting, which was presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.

A committee led by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the National Economic Council, composed of state governors, had been working to resolve the issue for over 12 months, he said. According to him, during the period the committee has yet to harmonise its templates. “So, the stage that we are in now is how to finalise the suggestions that have come out from both the Federal Government and the governors. Like you know, it is something that is going to affect the entire nation. They just have to ensure that everyone is carried along, that is both the federal and sub-national governments,” he added.

The minister argued that while the Osinbajo-led committee has no definite timeline to conclude its assignment, discussions were ongoing. Agba explained that the delay was necessary because the situation had far-reaching consequences for the nation.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed that the government had postponed the 2023 population and housing census earlier scheduled for March 29. Mohammed said the postponement became necessary as the Independent National Electoral Commission last Wednesday rescheduled the governorship elections to March 18. He also revealed that the council approved N2.8bn for the National Population Commission to procure software to be deployed for the census.

“There was a memo presented by the National Population Commission, seeking some software to allow them to conduct the census in May this year. I believe because of the rescheduling of the elections, they cannot commence the census as planned. They sought council’s approval for a contract to procure software for the census at the sum of N2.8bn,” the minister revealed. He also disclosed that the FEC approved N15bn for the construction of an access road linking the Benin-Asaba Expressway to the Second Niger Bridge. The completion of the road will enable the regime to inaugurate the bridge before President Buhari leaves office on May 29.”

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