Petrol: Current price of N145/L can’t be sustained — Kachikwu

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the current price of N145 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol can no longer be sustained.

In a presentation he made to a joint committee on Petroleum (Downstream) of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Minister said the landing cost for petrol stood at N171 per litre.

According to him, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been bearing the cost of N26 per litre, representing the difference between N171 and the current official price of N145 per litre.

Insisting that independent marketers would not be able to import the product at the current foreign exchange rate, saying the marketers were able to sell for N145 per litre when the exchange rate was N285 per Dollar. The Naira presently exchanges for N365 per Dollar.

Kachikwu, however, proffered three alternative solutions to pump price increase: getting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce a modulated foreign exchange rate specifically for importers of the product; giving the marketers significant tax adjustments to enable them to absorb the high cost; and a plural pricing system whereby the NNPC would continue to sell at N145 through its numerous outlets while the marketers are allowed to fix their own price.
The Minister identified causes of the last fuel scarcity to include diversion of products, logistic constraints, and bottleneck associated with clearance, bad road network, insufficient product reserves, smuggling through land borders, supply gaps and enforcement challenges.

He stated that the marketers stopped importing fuel since October 2017, as a result of their inability to access foreign exchange from the CBN, leaving only the NNPC to import the product, which has left a wide gap between demand and supply.

To address the situation, the Minister canvassed the opening up of production lines, specifically the refineries, which he said, would address supply gaps that usually leads to incessant scarcity.

In his own submission at the hearing, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru said the last scarcity was caused by rumours of price increase in the media that led marketers into hoarding the product in anticipation of higher prices.

The GMD said that the strike action embarked upon by PENGASAN in December was partly responsible for the scarcity, saying issues raised by the association for going on strike had nothing to do with the NNPC.

According to him, the strike triggered panic buying by members of the public leading to scarcity of the product. He added that although PENGASAN called off the strike on December 18, the damage had already been done.

The GMD alleged that about 4500 distribution trucks failed to return to depots to complete their distribution formalities during the scarcity period, meaning that the trucks were diverted.

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  1. President Muhammadu Buhari,s state minister of petroleum-resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, must have receive substantial bribes from fuel-importers, by advocating for the increase in fuel-price of N145-per litre, despite the fact that president Muhammadu Buhari, says openly recently that fuel-importers demanded for sudden increase in fuel-price from N145 Naira, per litre to N200.But, unfortunately despite the glaring failure of the state minister of petroleum resources,Dr Ibe Kachikwu, with the total scarcity of fuel products in Nigeria, during the Xmas and New-year festivities that Nigerian motorists suffered endlessly, still Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who supposed to have been sacked or dismissed from his official duties as state minister of petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, says N145-Naira per litre of fuel is not sustainable.Dr Ibe Kachikwu, is serving the interest of fuel-importers not average Nigerians and president Muhammadu Buhari.

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