*Says FG No Longer Fixing The Pump Price Of Petroleum Products
By Hamilton Nwosa(The New Diplomat’s Head Polling, Research and data desk)
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and former governor of Bayelsa state,Chief Timipre Sylva has reiterated that the federal government is no longer fixing the pump price of petroleum products in the country.
Chief Sylva who is also the leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State made this known while briefing journalists on the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
It would be recalled that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) had on Wednesday announced a new Ex-depot price regime of N151.56 for petrol in the country.
Typically, depot price is the original price marketers buy products from depot owners in the country. An increase or decrease in ex-depot price has effect on the pump price of petrol.
“Government is no longer in the business of fixing prices for petroleum products, we have stepped back. Our focus now is on protecting the interest of the consumers and making sure that marketers are not profiteering,” the Minister explained.
Chief Sylva who explained the current situation to Nigerians also appealed to citizens to understand the dynamics and metrics of deregulation of the sector while underlying the fact that the deregulation of the sector was critical and vital for sustained economic growth and measurable development in Nigeria.
He said the move by government to deregulate was also a consensus decision among stakeholders noting that it is in the overall interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
According to him, the well-being of Nigeria and all Nigerians remains paramount to government.
“You all know that that President Muhammadu Buhari aligns with ordinary Nigerians, especially the poor. Left for him, he will never allow increase in pump price; for this to happen, it means that it is an inevitable decision. COVID-19 took the price of crude oil to zero zone,” the minister said.
The Minister further said that government cannot fund subsidy, hence its decision not to follow that path or adopt that as an option, stressing that current happenings in the sector were for the economic survival of the country.
Sylva equally explained that government had cut crude production from two million barrels to 1.412 million barrels per day. With this sad development, revenue generation has been seriously impacted upon. According to the minister, this development was affecting revenue generation in the country.
The former Bayelsa State governor who noted that the well meaning deregulation of the sector has been politicised, urged Nigerians not to listen to any advocacy for subsidy payment.
According to NAN report , the Minister was further quoted as saying that “deregulation will definitely come with few pains, but survival of the country is paramount.”