Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has come out to say that FG never promised to keep the price of petrol permanently low.
In a recent statement in Abuja, Timipre revealed that the federal government simply decided that it was unrealistic to continue with the burden of subsidizing PMS annually.
According to him, this is a necessary step taken by a responsible government in the overall interest of Nigerians, so people should stop complaining.
He added that it was important to free up that investment space so that what happened in the banking sector, the aviation sector and other sectors can happen in the midstream and downstream oil sector.
His words, “This is a necessary action taken by a responsible government in the overall interest of Nigerians. Indeed, one of the reasons we have been unable to attract the level of investments we desire into the refining sector has been the burden of fuel subsidy.
“We need to free up that investment space so that what happened in the banking sector, aviation sector and other sectors can happen in the midstream and downstream oil sector.
“We can no longer avoid the inevitable and expect the impossible to continue. There was no time Government promised to reduce pump price and keep it permanently low.”
“Deregulation means that the Government will no longer continue to be the main supplier of petroleum products. But will encourage private sector to take over the role of supplier of Petroleum Products.
“This means also that market forces will henceforth determine the prices at the pump. In line with global best practices, Government will continue to play its traditional role of regulation; to ensure that this strategic commodity is not priced arbitrarily by private sector suppliers; a regulatory function not unlike the role played by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the banking sector; ensuring that commercial banks do not charge arbitrary interest rates.
“Petroleum products are refined from crude oil. Therefore the price of crude (the feedstock) for the refining process will affect the price of the refined product.”