Nigeria: govt says no going back on petrol subsidy removal

*Fuel scarcity worsens.

*Fuel scarcity worsens.

*Insists fuel pump price remains unchanged at N86.50

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

05 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has restated that it has not reversed its decision to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, contrary to reports in a section of the media.

A statement issued yesterday and signed by the Acting Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Sotonye Iyoyo, explained that government has not gone back to the subsidy regime, especially when there is no appropriation for subsidy in the 2016 budget.

Rather, the government explained that what it has in place is a price modulation mechanism where it quarterly reviews pump price of petrol taking into consideration current realities in the international oil market.

Sotonye also said that accumulated funds from the government’s over recovery on prices within the first quarter import allocation would be used to make up any noticeable imbalances in April and that no fund was provided for subsidising petrol consumption in the 2016 budget.

“Contrary to reports by a section of the Nigerian media, the federal government has not reversed its decision to remove subsidy on petrol more so when there is no appropriation for subsidy in the 2016 budget,” said Sotonye.

According to her, “The funds from over recovery in the first quarter (Q1) shall be duly utilised for whatever noticeable imbalance in April 2016 in line with the price modulation principle.”

“The PPPRA wishes to state categorically that what still exists is modulation price policy, through which it considers and reviews pump price of PMS quarterly,” the statement informed.

Iyoyo further stated that the funds which have so far accrued to the government from over recovery from oil marketers since January 1, 2016, when the price modulation commenced, would be used to settle any imbalance in the market in April.

“The agency also wishes to assure Nigerians that the funds from over-recovery in the first quarter (Q1) shall be duly utilised for whatever noticeable imbalance in April 2016 in line with the price modulation principle,” she said.

Sotonye then noted that the agency was committed to ensuring seamless supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country.

Meanwhile, the PPPRA also has dismissed speculations that the official pump price of petrol could be increased soon.

According to the PPPRA Acting Executive Secretary, Sotonye Iyoyo, the agency would retain the retail prices of N86 for the NNPC and N86.50 for the other marketing companies.

She also assured that the pump price of Household Kerosene, HHK, would also remain unchanged from what it was in the last quarter.

The statement issued by Iyoyo says that: “Therefore, marketers are advised to ensure that there is no price distortion in their respective retail outlets.

“PPPRA is resolutely committed to the sustenance of its reform initiatives, to guarantee further an adequate supply of products nationwide.

“We, therefore, assure Nigerians of our total commitment to service delivery, in the quest to deliver on our mandate to the people of Nigeria.”

While calling on motorists to desist from panic-buying, the PPPRA said it would continue to monitor the global oil market performances and make reasonable changes consistent with the newly-adopted price modulation principles.

Also, it appealed to depot owners to strictly adhere to the prevailing truck-out policy made by the agency, to ensure that petroleum products got to their designated retail outlets nationwide, and warned that adequate sanctions awaited any depot-owner found to be hoarding products.

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