Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the corporation’s group managing director, Ibe Kachikwu, has on Thursday, December 17, at a town hall meeting in Abuja, denied rumours making the round that federal government would hike petrol pump price to N97/litre on January 1st 2016.
He said: “I did not say that refined petroleum products will sell for N97 per litre next year. I said that between a band of N87 and N97 we are going to be looking at prices and today the prices are largely close to N87, So there is no need to change the price.”
“I have not put a static figure. PPPRA will have to do the calculation to be able to announce at what price petrol will sell in January; but we do not anticipate any major shift because of the price of crude today.
“I think what you will find next year on pricing of petrol is a bit more flexible management of the pricing system so that we are as close to what the prices are today and reflective of what the price for crude is, but in a way to create an incentive for marketers to feel free to get out.
“What we hope to do, is to reduce the level of federal government’s subsidy, if any, to the industry so that the industry can grow on its own strengths and we can do that without the mechanism of saying that subsidy is being removed but have a benchmark approach to setting pricing.
“We are going to see a lot more of the quarterly-type analyses of what prices will be in the downstream industry relative to prices of crude oil.”
Recall, Kachikwu, at the National Assembly, had said that the government might change the price of petrol as well as adopt a strategy of gradual removal of subsidy.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) swiftly threatened on Wednesday, December 16, to mobilise all its relevant organs to embark on an industrial action if the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government reverts the pump price of petrol to N97 from next year.