The federal government has said that Nigerians will pay about N183 per litre for petrol if there was full deregulation of the petroleum sector.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said this at a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, September 15.
He said, “Why have we kept it at N161? Frankly speaking, let us face it and this is what I will tell you. One of the things that the president considered; he said if you take it to the full scale of deregulation, today, prices should have been around N183 because you all know this.
The minister said government’s current intervention was in the purchase of foreign exchange for the importation of petrol. He said importers, mainly the NNPC and its subsidiaries, were still buying dollars from the government at about N391 to a dollar contrary to the prevailing market price of about N450.
“The federal government spent N10.4 trillion on petrol subsidy between 2016 and 2019, while the country was losing N1 billion daily to fuel subsidy between 2016-2019,” he said.
Daily Times reports that in June, Sylva, in a statement, explained reasons for deregulation of the oil sector.
He said that after a thorough examination of the economics of subsidising PMS for domestic consumption, the federal government concluded that it was unrealistic to continue with the burden of subsidizing PMS to the tune of trillions of Naira every year.
The Minister said more so when the said subsidy was benefiting in large part the rich rather than the poor and ordinary Nigerians.
Sylva however said the government was mindful of the likely impact that higher PMS prices would have on Nigerians, adding that to alleviate the impact the ministry will roll out the auto-gas scheme, which will provide Nigerians with alternative sources of fuel and at a lower cost.