The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that the main concern of the present government is to have consistent production and provision of petroleum products at all times.
Kachikwu who disclosed this during a visit to the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company at the weekend said in other to ensure this, Nigeria will continue to import fuel beyond 2016.
“Until we begin to get individuals who can co-relocate, we are going to be doing a mixture of local and importation of fuel to meet up demands. Best case situation is 25% local and 75% importation. Worse case is what we are experiencing now.
According to the Minister, the government is working assiduously to make sure the Kaduna Refinery which will soon attain the 2 million litres per day capacity and the other three refineries in Port-Harcourt and Warri are optimally.
The Federal Government had last week announced a possible reduction in petrol pump prices and also scrapped the Petroleum Support Fund otherwise known as oil subsidy.
Kachikwu said could no longer afford to subsidize the product following the fraud that has attended its operation. He added that it had become clear that government earnings were dipping on daily basis.
Asked when the Federal Government would release the new petrol price template prepared by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulation Agency, Kachikwu said that he approved the new price for the agency on Thursday.
Pressed to reveal when the new price would become effective, Kachikwu, said “like I said, we have done a modulation and it is showing us below N87. I imagine that if PPPRA publishes it today, it will become effective immediately. But the 1st of January 2016 is when we are looking at.”
He said the new price would be below the current N87 per litre and it would now convince Nigerians that the pricing modulation that the Federal Government promised to embark on a few days ago was not a trick.
He stated that from the applicable market realities for the pricing modulation, government discovered that petrol would sell for either N85 or N86 per litre.