The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Group Managing Director (GMD), Malam Mele Kyari has said a litre of petrol may soon increase to 234 naira per litre. He said the government is currently paying 100 to 120 billion naira subsidy monthly on the product at the current rate.
Petroleum is presently selling between 163 and 165 naira per litre, depending on the location.
The GMD said a new price is being contemplated because the corporation can no longer sustain the monthly subsidy. Kyari gave hint of the new price at the fifth edition of the special ministerial briefings coordinated by the presidential communication team in Abuja, on Thursday.
He said the NNPC absorbs the cost differential which is recorded in its financial books.
Kyari said while the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to 234naira per litre, the federal government sells at 162 naira.
He said NNPC could no longer afford to bear the cost, adding that sooner or later Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for the commodity.
Kyari said market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country.
According to him, “today, NNPC is the sole importer of petrol. We are importing market price and we are selling at N162. Looking at the current price situation, the market price could have been between that N211 and N234 per litre.
“The meaning of this is that the consumers are not paying for the full value of PMS that we are consuming and therefore the NNPC is bearing that cost. As at today, the difference is being carried in the books of the NNPC and I can confirm to you that the NNPC nay no longer be in a position to carry that cost.
“That is why early last year, you will recall the full deregulation of PMS and we have followed this through until September when the price shifted above N145, disputes came up between us and the trade unions and the civil societies leading to an engagement between us and organized labour which prevented the implementation of the actual price of the petroleum product at that time.
“These engagements are continued and the objective of the engagement is actually not to prevent the implementation but to make sure there is sufficient framework on ground to ensure that consumers pay for the actual price of this product and that they are not exploited.
“Second, it is to also put some reliefs such that the potential effect of the fuel price increase is not transferred to the ordinary people. Part of this is to deepen the auto-gas programme.
“With auto-gas programme, we will be able to deliver alternative fuel for vehicles including keke napep so that the price per litre equivalent will probably be half of the PMS at its current price.
“So, as we speak, I will not say that we are in a subsidy regime but we are in a situation where we are trying to exit the underpriced sale of PMS until we come to the full value of the product in the market.
“We want to use this opportunity to tell you that PMS today sells above N200 across our borders and in some places about n500 to a litre. In some countries, the Nigerian fuel is their territory fuel and we are supplying almost everybody in the west African sub-region.
“We cannot continue to afford this because we have our own issues. That’s why the eventual exit from this is completely inevitable. When that will happen I don’t know but I know that some engagements are going on; the government is concerned about the natural impact of price increase on our transportation and other consumer aspects of our society,” he said.
On the exact amount the NNPC is subsidizing fuel monthly, Kyari said, “our current consumption — evacuation from our depots is about 60 million litres per day. We are selling at n162 per litre. The current market price is n234. The difference between the two, multiply by 60 million litres will give you amount per month.
“This is a simple arrangement you do. If you want the exact figures from our books, I do not have them from this moment but it’s between N100billion and N120billion per month. We are putting the difference in the books of NNPC and we cannot continue to bear that.
“Today, NNPC is the sole importer of PMS. We are importing at market price and we are selling at N162 per litre today. Looking at the current market situation, the actual price could have been around n211 that you mentioned and around N234 per litre.
“The meaning of this is that consumers are not paying for the full value of PMS that we are consuming and, therefore, somebody is bearing that cost. As we speak, the difference is being carried in the books of the NNPC and I can confirm to you that NNPC may no longer be in a position to carry that burden because we cannot continue to do so,” he said.
On his part, the minister of state for petroleum, chief Timipre Sylva, dismissed insinuations that the Port Harcourt refinery is archaic.
On why the government is investing $1.5 billion on the rehabilitation of refinery when at the same time it is talking of privatization and commercialization, the minister said, “I have always said that our refineries cannot survive under the regime of subsidy because you cannot be refining at a cost and selling at a subsidized rate.
Many Feared Dead As Tanker Explodes In Benue
Many residents of Oshigbudu in Agatu local government area of Benue state are feared dead today after a tanker explosion in a residential area in the town on Sunday. Many shops and houses were also razed in the inferno that ensued.
Executive secretary of the state emergency management agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior said the destruction to lives and property was still to be quantified but described the accident as quote, “the chief of all the calamities that have fallen us this year,” end quote.
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in Ondo State has confirmed that six persons have died in an auto crash in which an 18-seater bus plunged into Owena river in Akure on Sunday. They include three males, two females and a child. Eight were reportedly injured and are receiving treatment in hospitals.
A newly married man was among the fatalities, while his wife is said to be seriously injured.
The two were said to be returning to Akure after their wedding at a registry, with plans to conduct their traditional wedding next weekend.
The driver is said to have lost control while speeding in heavy downpour. As a result of the heavy rain, help was said to have been impeded from reaching them for more than an hour.
The bus was said to have hit a rock at the bottom of the river causing the deaths.
JUSUN Strike: FG, Staff Union To Meet As Nigeria Judiciary Paralyze
The judiciary workers’ strike is still going strong with no end in sight. The umbrella body, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN has begun a nationwide protest in Abuja on Monday over its demand that governors across the country comply with constitutional provisions for the judiciary’s financial autonomy.
The union began a nationwide strike two weeks ago and has stuck to its guns that the protest will not end until the union’s demands are met.
This strike action has paralyzed services at the nation’s courts, including the supreme court. JUSUN decided to begin nationwide protests after talks failed with governors on Friday.
Meanwhile, the judiciary workers’ strike could not have happened at a more opportune time for former aviation minister, senator Stella Oduah, whose arraignment on a twenty-five billion naira fraud and money laundering charges at the federal high court in Abuja today has been scrapped because of the strike.
There was no access to the court today as the gates were locked as a result of the strike. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had hoped to arraign and dock her today along with eight others.
On two other occasions, other events had prevented Oduah’s arraignment in the same court. Her lead counsel, chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, says Oduah would be ready to honor the court’s schedule whenever it reopens.
NCDC Confirms 26 New COVID-19 Cases
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says 26 new cases of covid-19 have been recorded in the country bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 164,233.
The data shown on its official twitter handle on Sunday say the new cases were registered in five states including, Ebonyi 10 cases, Kano-Two, Lagos nine, Osun-two Oyo-one and the Federal Capital Territory-FCT two cases.
So far, more than 154,000 persons have recovered from covid-19 and discharged from hospitals since the pandemic was reported in 2020.
NCDC has advised Nigerians to take responsibility to protect themselves, loved ones, customers, employees and society by disinfecting surfaces in their homes, shops and offices regularly to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in their communities.
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