By Richards Adeniyi
If the pronouncement of
is anything to go by, motorists will pay less for petrol in the next six months while new 200,000 jobs will be created in the downstream sector.
Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, based his projection on what he called the “competition inherent in the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) price modulation”.
Although he did not reveal the level of drop in price in the offing, he said the fact that the price of diesel fell by up to 40 percent and is still recording surplus supply is enough evidence that the petrol prices will also crash.
In a podcast through which he unveiled his scorecard on his two years in office in Abuja, he said that “once Nigerians throw their trading skill in, once competition thrives, the prices will continue to tumble.
”My guess is that you will see the prices tumble in the next four, five to six months. The market will be more stable and definitely the prices will be lower than what we see today.”
He claimed that this is the first time in the past 10 years that the three refineries are working simultaneously, albeit at 50 percent of their capacity.
“We expect to put in investment to put them to 90 percent capacity,” he said.
Kachikwu said that this is the first that the NNPC group of companies are recording savings which could be used to address the issue of the refineries alongside the Joint Venture Partners.
Assuring that product distribution will continue to improve, he said depots located across the country have been rehabilitated and upgraded with only three of the 19 yet to resume operation.
Plans are afoot, the minister said, to replace the network of pipelines for the first time since they were laid over 35 years ago.
“The time has come to take on the problem bullishly and that is what we are trying to do. So, we believe the ire will be money for infrastructural development in the downstream sector.
“We believe that a lot of the companies will jump up now and be able to sell at the right prices and not the pump down by the problem of price control and will be able to grow their businesses. We believe that most of the efficient ones will drive prices southward rather than northward.
“And we believe that almost 200,000 jobs will be created in this sector and over 400,000 jobs will be saved which would have been lost if we had continued on the path we were in.”
He revealed that on assumption of office two years ago, he inherited a debt of N600 billion owed to marketers of PMS which the federal government has settled.