Why market forces should determine petrol price in Nigeria ─NNPC

*The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says the burden placed upon it by the current subsidisation of the cost of petrol by N120 billion monthly is overwhelming

*Minister of State for Petroleum discloses the Petroleum Industry Bill in the National Assembly would be passed by April 2021

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has advocated that market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country, lamenting that it pays N120 billion every month to subsidise petrol, otherwise known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Malam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Corporation, stated this at the weekly presidential ministerial media briefing Thursday, March 25 at the State House in Abuja, FCT.

Kyari explained that the burden placed upon the state oil firm by the ongoing subsidisation of the cost of petrol in the country is overwhelming.

In view of the comparatively huge sum being paid to subsidise PMS, Kyari said that Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for petrol sooner or later.

According to NNPC GMD, the product is currently being sold below the cost of importation, thereby causing the NNPC to pay the differential.

Though he refrained from calling the shortfall payment a ‘subsidy’ outright, Kyari noted that the fund was paid to maintain the pump price of petrol at the current level.

He added that the NNPC could no longer bear the monumental cost.

Market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country in the nearest future, said Kyari.

In a related development, Timipre Sylva, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, gave an update on happenings in the nation’s petroleum sector at the briefing in Abuja.

The Minister disclosed that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly (NASS) would be passed by April 2021.

Sylva stated that the bill would not suffer a setback, going by all indications from the leadership of the Federal Legislature.

He emphasised that it is important for Nigeria to steer away from oil to gas, saying, the 20-year-old PIB would attract a lot of investments to the gas sector in the country.

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