Nigerian govt insists bridging cost increase won’t lead to fuel price hike

*Petrol dripping from the pump at the forecourt.

…To restart fuel supply to Northern states through pipeline

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

10 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Government on Monday allayed fears over an impending hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, stating that the increase in the Bridging Cost component of the pricing template has been absorbed by efficiencies in the sector and savings from ship lightering expenses.

This was even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it would soon commence the transportation and supply of petroleum products to Kaduna, Kano, Jos and Suleja through the pipeline.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed that the Federal Government is committed to looking inwards and ensuring that Nigerians and the general public do not pay more from where inefficiencies can be achieved.

There are fears that with the marginal increase in freight rate for transporters, the Federal Government may have also kick-started the process of hiking the pump price of petrol, with the product likely to sell between N147 and N150 per litre.

To satisfy the yearnings of the aggrieved Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) for an increase in transporters’ margin, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru last week promised to increase the bridging claims for the tanker drivers from the present N6 per litre, thereby indirectly setting machinery in motion for a possible hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

The Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, on Monday, evening suspended their nationwide indefinite strike, following Federal Government’s approval of bridging cost allowance from N6.20 to N7.20.

Kachikwu, who was represented by his Technical Assistant on Downstream and Infrastructure, Mrs. Brenda Ataga, explained that the issue of the increase in the pricing template was an efficiency issue which ensured that the review did not translate to a change in the price of PMS.

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