Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture

Angry reactions, protests over hiked petrol, electricity prices unnecessary: Minister

*If crude oil price drops, petrol price will also drop, and consumers will enjoy the benefits ─Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed

*Federal Government has supported problematic, largely-privatised electricity industry with about N1.7 trillion, but not any longer

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has risen to the occasion in defence of the Federal Government’s recent decision to jack up the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol from previous N148 to N151.56K besides 100 percent in electricity tariffs in the country.

The Minister made the remarks Monday, September 7 at a press conference in Abuja, FCT, on the recent increases in petrol price and electricity tariffs.

ConsumerConnect had reported that there were groundswells of reactions that trailed the latest announcement of an increase in petrol price, just as cross-sections of Nigerian consumers have protested against the Federal Goverment’s fuel and electricity price hikes in a number of states in the Federation.

The Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Wednesday, September 2, 2020, announced the increment in the pump price of petrol, otherwise known as the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

In justifying the increment, the Minister, who attributed the increased amount to the dwindling global price of crude oil, said the “angry reactions” that have greeted the latest petrol price were “unnecessary and totally mischievous”.

Alhaji Mohammed explained that with the price of crude creeping up, petrol price was equally bound to increase, hence the latest price of N162 per litre in several instances.

The minister, however, believes if the price of crude drops again, the price of petrol will also drop and the benefits will also be passed on to the consumers.

He stressed that despite the recent increase in the price of petrol that of Nigeria has remained the lowest in the West and Central African sub-regions.

Petrol is being sold for N211 per litre and N168 per litre in Egypt and Saudi Arabia respectively, according to the Minister.

According to the Minister, a comparative analysis of petrol prices in 13 countries of the West African sub-region (Naira equivalent per litre) is as follows:

  1. Nigeria                 – 162 Naira per litre
  2. Ghana                  –  332 Naira per litre
  3. Benin                   – 359 Naira per litre
  4. Togo                     – 300 Naira per litre
  5. Niger                    – 346 Naira per litre
  6. Chad                    – 366 Naira per litre
  7. Cameroon           – 449 Naira per litre
  8. Burkina Faso      –  433 Naira per Litre
  9. Mali                     – 476 Naira per litre
  10. Liberia                 – 257 Naira per litre
  11. Sierra Leone       – 281 Naira per litre
  12. Guinea                – 363 Naira per litre
  13. Senegal               – 549 Naira per litre

In respect of the increase in electricity tariffs, Mohammed described the hike as a service-based adjustment by the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

He stated that due to the problems with the largely-privatised electricity industry, the Federal Government has been supporting the sector.

While the government has so far spent almost N1.7 trillion, especially by way of supplementing tariffs shortfalls and does not have the resources to continue, borrowing to subsidise generation and distribution which have been privatised would be grossly irresponsible.

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