The Federal Government over the weekend said it would undertake a review of the pricing template for Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, to forestall a further increase in the price of the commodity.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, stated this during a grand award ceremony organised by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency Branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria in Abuja.
Kachikwu disclosed that the review of the template, which would be done with oil marketers and other stakeholders, would help cushion the effect of rising foreign exchange rates and the dwindling value of the naira against major international currencies on the price of petrol.
He also stated that he is not aware of the fact that the retail arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has increased the price of petrol from N141 per litre to N145 per litre, the maximum price allowed by government under the price modulation mechanism,.
He said that he would consult with the NNPC management to understand the reason for the increase.
He said: “I am not aware that the NNPC has increased price.
“I need to look into that.
“It is a bit of surprise for me because there are processes in doing this.
“If they have done that, it means they are doing it wrongly.
“Let me find out what the facts are.”
Commenting on the petrol price template, Kachikwu explained that the review would eliminate certain charges that are attributable to the Federal Government and some of its agencies so that the price can be retained where it is at the moment.
He said: “One of the things I think we had hoped to do, which we would still do, before we embark on any price increase, is to work on those templates.
There are still areas that are within the government controlled aspects: payments to the Ministry of Transport and the rest, payments to the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“We are working on the possibility of being able to shift that out so that we can still modulate the prices within where it is right now.
“But I would hold a conversation with the industry and see how it is going.
“At the end of the day, I think PPPRA is the one that has the authority to say it is time the templates does justify some level of movement, otherwise you have a crisis of individual decisions on pricing.”
Kachikwu explained that the meeting brokered between President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the Niger Delta was part of a series of actions to bring lasting peace to the Niger Delta region.
He lamented that the crisis recorded in the region over the last one year had taken its toll on the country, its resources and even the sustenance of the oil industry.
He said: “The President is committed to finding solutions to these problems.
“He is committed to finding lasting solutions, not one-offs that would come to haunt us again afterwards.
“That is why he is taking his time to understand how these people operate.”