There Will Be No Hike In Price Of Petrol, Tinubu Assures

Aminat Gusanu


President Bola Tinubu assured Nigerians on Tuesday that there would be no increase in petroleum product prices, despite the push by some oil marketers to raise the current N617 per litre to N720.

President Tinubu’s assurances were conveyed to journalists at the Presidential Villa in Abuja by his special adviser on media and publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

He disclosed that the president is taking steps to rectify inefficiencies within the petroleum industry.

Recall that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had threatened to initiate an indefinite nationwide strike if the prices of PMS increased beyond the current rates.

The threat consequently sparked rumors of potential fuel price hikes.

Responding to the organized Labour’s threat, the president noted that such a move was premature.

He therefore urged all stakeholders to exercise caution in reacting to the present situation, while appealing for calm from citizens.

According to Ngelale, “The official position is that there is no price increase at this time. Mr. President is convinced, based on the information available, that we can maintain current pricing without reversing our deregulation policy.

“This can be achieved by promptly addressing existing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sector.”

Further elaborating, the presidential spokesperson stated, “The president wishes to emphasize that all stakeholders in the country should remain calm.

“We have recently heard from the organized Labour movement about their most recent threat. We believe this threat was premature, and all sides need to conduct fact-finding and diligence on the current state of the downstream and midstream petroleum industry before arriving at any conclusions.

“Secondly, Mr. President wishes to assure Nigerians following the recent announcement by NNPC Limited that there will be no increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit anywhere in the country. We reiterate that there will be no increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit.

“We also affirm that the President is committed to maintaining competitive tension within all sub-sectors of the petroleum industry. He aims to prevent any single entity from dominating the market. The market has been deregulated and liberalized, and we are moving forward in this direction without looking back.

“The President further confirms that there are currently inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sub-sectors. Addressing these swiftly will enable us to maintain prices without having to reverse the administration’s deregulation policy.”

He also went on to provide insight into the performance of the decision to remove the subsidy on PMS by the president when assuming office in May.

He noted that the consumption rate dropped from 67 million litres per day to 46 million.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the petrol pump price is the cheapest in Nigeria compared to neighboring West African countries.

Ngelale stated, “I wish to share a set of graphics authorized by the President, which would otherwise be confidential. These graphics were provided by the NNPC. They display the current cost of refined premium motor spirit at the pump in West African nations neighboring us. For instance, Senegal’s pump price is N1,273 per litre, Guinea’s is N1,075, Cote d’Ivoire’s is N1,048, Mali’s is N1,113, and Central African Republic’s is N1,414. Nigeria presently averages between N568 and N630 per litre, making us the cheapest and most affordable purchasing state in the West African sub-region.

“In conclusion, we’ve seen that since the inception of our deregulation policy, the PMS consumption dropped from 67 million litres per day to 46 million. The impact is evident, but there’s still some distance to go. We urge Nigerians to be patient as we promised transparency and openness. We are prepared to show the nation the challenges stemming from foreign exchange illiquidity due to mismanagement of the Central Bank of Nigeria over preceding years.”

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