Nigeria announced it had approved a $2b (N407.07b) fuel subsidy package, including payments to oil marketers for accrued arrears from the two fiscal years, 2014 and 2015, SaharaReporters wrote.

The approval came after Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari had issued a directive for the payment to end the country’s fuel scarcity.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of 19 northern federal governments has advocated for a full deregulation scheme of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry, according to ThisDayLive.

NNPC’s position paper on the subject stated that the deregulation measures would allow market forces to determine the prices of products, while creating savings for the government. The move would ensure that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) continue regulating the sector, including profiteering by marketers, under a deregulated regime.

NNPC called for a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to legally enforce deregulation that the corporation recommends be followed by partial privatization of NNPC refineries with the government holding the stakes of below 30%.

Citing the deregulation experience in Indonesia, Ghana and Iran, NNPC stated that fuel subsidy spending had proved unsustainable, and the governments were to alleviate people’s hardship by introducing subsidies for other state services instead, such as education or transportation.