NIGERIA'S PETROLEUM MINISTER HINTS OF A POSSIBLE INCREASE IN FUEL PRICE
Chief Timipre Sylvia, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources on Tuesday hinted of a possible increase in petrol pump price as the price of crude oil rises above $60 per barrel.
During the official launch of the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Program, Sylvia pointed out that there is no provision of subsidy in the 2021 budget and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) "cannot continue to take this blow."
Nigeria presently sells petrol at N160- N165 - the same price it sold when crude traded for about $43 per barrel.
Sylvia argued that the NNPC needs to optimise product cost, stating that while the Government's revenue has improved by the rise in the price of crude oil, there is no provision for a subsidy to reduce the impact of an increase in pump price.
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“Since we are optimizing everything, NNPC needs to also think about the optimization of product cost because as we all know oil prices are where they are today, $60. As desirable as this is, this has serious consequences as well on product prices. So we want to take the pleasure and we should as a country be ready to take the pain," he said.
“Today the NNPC is taking a big hit from this. We all know that there is no provision in the budget for subsidy. “So, somewhere down the line, I believe that the NNPC cannot continue to take this blow. There is no way because there is no provision for it. “As a country, let us take the benefits of the higher crude oil prices and I hope we will also be ready to take a little pain on the side of higher product prices,” he added.