From Abubakar Yunusa, ABUJA
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has said that fuel prices in Nigeria would be sold between N360 and N400 per litre after the removal of petroleum subsidy by the government.
Festus Osifo, PENGASSAN president, made this disclosure when speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the association’s National Executive Council meeting (NEC) held in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Osifo spoke days after marketers and other groups in the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry said subsidy removal will push fuel prices to N750 per litre.
In January, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said that it will be more appropriate for the government to begin the implementation of its fuel subsidy policy in the second quarter of the year.
The minister noted that the country needs to exit the fuel subsidy regime because it is a very significant contributory factor to revenue loss.
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Osifo said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited being the sole importer of premium motor spirit (PMS) will determine the petroleum pricing using the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate.
“Today, the sole importer of PMS into Nigeria is the NNPC. The NNPC is using an exchange rate of the CBN which gives about N400 to N450 depending on the day and depending on the window that you are looking at. So, if you compute that into the model today, PMS should be selling for a region of about N360 to N400,” Mr Osifo said.
He added that the association has compelled all its organs nationwide to make fuel available for Nigerians and threatened to revoke the licenses of petroleum marketers hoarding petrol.
He noted that functional local refineries will not only make fuel affordable but create jobs for Nigerians.
“While maintaining our support for the full deregulation of the sector and the significant milestone achieved in this regard, we counsel that efforts be made to increase the pace of the current rehabilitation exercise of refineries and get them back on track in due time,” he said.
He, however, said the incoming administration must address the currency swap as well as fuel scarcity across the country while noting that palliatives must be made available to Nigerians to mitigate the impact of the removal of petroleum subsidy.