- Nigerian Minister of state for petroleum resources says President Buhari never promised to keep petrol price low
The Government of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil exporter, has bluntly told millions of Nigerians that they would henceforth bear the burden of higher prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol.
The country’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who declared this in a statement published on the ministry’s Instagram page siģhted by Platforms Africa, declared that at no time did the Federal Government promise to keep the pump price of the product permanently low.
The government had through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) started issuance of monthly price band advisory for petrol marketers.
With a declaration by the minister, what this means is that as the prices of crude oil surge at the international market, Nigerians will pay more for petrol.
The government, Sylva declared in the statement entitled; ‘Deregulation: The facts and the reasons behind the policy,’ had concluded that it could no longer bear the burden of petrol subsidy.
“After a thorough examination of the economics of subsidising PMS for domestic consumption, the Federal Government concluded that it was unrealistic to continue with the burden of subsidising PMS to the tune of trillions of naira every year, more so when this subsidy was benefiting in large part the rich, rather than the poor and ordinary Nigerians,” the minister said.
Deregulation, he added, “means that the government will no longer continue to be the main supplier of petroleum products but will encourage the private sector to take over the role of supplying the products.
“This means also that market forces will henceforth determine the prices at the pump. In line with global best practices, the government will continue to play its traditional role of regulation to ensure that this strategic commodity is not priced arbitrarily by private sector suppliers.”
He likened the regulatory function to the role played by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the banking sector, “ensuring that commercial banks do not charge arbitrary interest rates”.
This has been the prayers of petroleum products marketers who demanded that the government should terminate interventions/subsidizing the price of petrol.
They have spoken at diffent fora against subsidy and have demanded that the government allow market fundamentals to determine the price.