Tinubu: Petrol Price to Remain Stable Despite Subsidy Reversal

President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday reaffirmed the federal government’s dedication to maintaining the current pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol without reversing the subsidy removal policy.

Addressing threats and concerns raised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on shutting down the economy in case there is an increase in fuel price, President Tinubu deemed such threats premature. He emphasized the importance of collective efforts from all stakeholders to maintain their peace.

The President assured citizens that there would be no additional petrol price increases across the nation. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited also reaffirmed this, confirming that there are no immediate plans to raise petrol prices per litre.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan government, which previously followed Nigeria’s lead in subsidy removal, has reintroduced fuel subsidies temporarily to tackle soaring prices of petrol, kerosene, and diesel. This measure is effective for a limited duration of 30 days.

During a press briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, shared insights following discussions with President Tinubu. Ngelale underscored that “the president is convinced, based on information before him, that we can maintain current pricing without reversing our deregulation policy by swiftly cleaning up existing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sector to stabilise price.”

Ngelale urged all stakeholders to exercise patience and conduct thorough due diligence to ascertain accurate information. He also emphasized the President’s commitment to fostering competitive dynamics within the sector to prevent any undue concentration of power.

To buttress his statements, the presidential spokesperson presented a comparative chart illustrating that petrol prices in Nigeria remain more cost-effective when compared to other West African countries.

While speaking yesterday he stated: “This morning (yesterday), I had the privilege of sitting down with His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu, as we discussed the current unfolding situation in the country as it relates to fuel supply and demand.

“The president wishes first to state that it is incumbent upon all stakeholders in the country to hold their peace.

“We have heard very recently from the organized labour movement in the country concerning their most recent threat.

“We believe that the threat was premature and that there is need on all sides to ensure that fact-finding and diligence is done on what the current state of the downstream and midstream petroleum industry is before any threats or conclusions are arrived at or issued.

“Secondly, Mr. President wishes to assure Nigerians, following the announcement by the NNPC limited just yesterday that there will be no increase in the pump price of petroleum motor spirit anywhere in the country.

“We repeat, the president affirms that there will be no increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit. We also wish to affirm that the president is determined to maintain competitive tension within all sub-sectors of the petroleum industry.

“He is determined to ensure that our policy drawn up as well as policy implemented follows the cue that there will be no single entity dominating the market.

“The market has been deregulated; it has been liberalized and we are moving forward in that direction without looking back.

“So, this is the backdrop we have seen, that at the inception of our deregulation policy as of June 1 as Mr. President took office, we have seen PMS consumption in the country drop immediately from 67 million litres per day, down to 46 million litres. The impact is evident.

“What it also mean though, is that we are not at the end of the tunnel. There is still a bit of darkness to travel through to get towards light. And we are pleading with Nigerians to please be patient with us.

“As we promised from the beginning, we will be open with Nigerians, we will be transparent with them. And we are ready to show you exactly what it is that our nation is facing with respect to the illiquidity in the market in terms of foreign exchange, as a result of what is now known to have been a gross mismanagement of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over the course of several years preceding this time.”

As of Monday night, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC Limited reiterated that it had no plan to raise the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol.

-Jesse Voyamba

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