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Kachikwu: Petrol Price Stays At N145 | The Precision

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Kachikwu and Baru
 
Minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and GMD NNPC Maikanti Baru at the Senate Public hearing on petrol scarcity.
 
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has denied
news reports that the Federal Government was planning to jack up the
pump price of petrol, at present fixed at N145 per litre.
Idang Alibi, the Director of Press in the ministry in a statement on
Thursday night, clarified the minister’s submission made to the joint
committee of the National Assembly on Petroleum Downstream.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources would like to categorically
state that the Honourable Minister never mentioned nor insinuated the
need or plans by the Federal Government to increase the current pump
price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)”, Alibi said.
Alibi restated what Kachikwu told the hearing, shown live on NTA that
the Presidency has set up a special committee to identify the immediate
and remote causes of the fuel scarcity with a view to finding both
immediate and long lasting solutions to the challenge.
“The Committee has been in rounds of deliberations in the past few
days and these discussions are still ongoing. The final decisions and
recommendations from the Committee would be passed on to the President
and Commander-In-Chief for approval”, said Alibi.
Alibi urged the public and indeed stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector to disregard any such report of a price increase.
Kachikwu told the public hearing at the National Assembly on Thursday
that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC had incurred a
cumulative loss of N85.5 billion in importing petrol and selling at the
current retail price of N145 per litre, since October 2017.
Kachikwu said the price was fixed in the first quarter of 2016, when
crude oil was selling for $49 and expressed fears that with crude price
rising to $67 a barrel, the pump price, may no longer be sustainable.
According to him, the landing cost of PMS which was N133.28 per litre
in 2016, is now N171 per litre and this has resulted into stoppage of
importation of the product by independent marketers.
This, he said had made the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC ) to be the 100 per cent importer of the product.
The minister disclosed further that as a result of the N26 difference
per litre between the current landing cost of the product ( N171) and
pump price of N145, NNPC which had been singularly importing the product
at the volume of 25million litres per day since October last year, has
been incurring a daily loss of about N800-N900million, cumulatively
reaching N85.5billion today, in just three months.
According to him, government has mandated him and a committee set up,
to find ways out of the problem until the local refineries became
functional in 18 months time.
He said three solutions are being considered.
“One, is for the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow the
marketers access forex at the rate of N204 to a dollar as against the
official rate of N305 to keep the pump price of fuel per litre at N145.
“Two, to give room for modulated deregulation where NNPC would be
allowed to continue selling at N145 per litre in all its mega stations
across the country while the independent marketers should be allowed to
sell at whatever price is profitable to them in all their outlets.
“Three, to look at the direction of blanket subsidy for all the
importers in bridging the gap which would be like going back to a
problem that had earlier been solved”, he said .
He, however, stressed that the final solution to the problem was for
the nation to put her refineries in good shape in a way that 80 per cent
of local consumption of the product should be provided for locally. (NAN)

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