The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that steps are being taken to maintain the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) at N145 per litre despite significant challenges being encountered in the downstream sector.
Kachikwu said this in a keynote address at the Rainoil 20th Anniversary Lecture which held on Wednesday in Lagos. The minister, who was represented by the Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, said the issue of freighting and docking was addressed last month.
He said the ministry would continue to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that foreign exchange is made available to marketers for importation of petroleum products.
The minister said, “We are also working very hard with the NNPC to reduce some of the charges on products such as the usual five per cent provision on proforma invoices as allowed for ship-to-ship operations. We are doing all these to help manage and maintain the current price ceiling of N145 per litre in the face of very significant challenges.”
He said the NNPC had recorded commendable performance in service delivery, products supply and distribution. According to the minister, when 50 per cent or more of products are being brought in by marketers, there will be more activity in the sector, jobs will be created and more taxes will be paid to the government.
“So, we must begin to move the market to a point where private sector operators are more involved. If we achieve that, everybody will compete and have a longer term view of the market from an investment standpoint,” Kachikwu added.