05 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Friday, maintained that the Federal Government was not considering the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol above the N145 per litre pump price.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, Kachikwu stated that the committee set up by the Federal Government to tackle the fuel crisis was even looking at pricing template to see how it can be reviewed to ensure that private marketers resumed fuel importation within the N145 per litre window.
He said, “I needed to clarify this, because sometimes, some of these rumours mongering all add to the difficulties NNPC had in terms of being able to control price speculation. The president mandate on this issue is very specific: we are not increasing the price from N145.
“The essence of our meeting on Thursday with the Senate, and the essence of the committee meeting still going on, which began a few days ago, is to find mechanisms to ensure that fuel queues do not come back to Nigeria; that there is a wetting of all the stations so that product is available at every time for Nigerians; that private marketers that had pulled out from participation, that we deal with their problems, so that they can participate effectively in the supply of petroleum products in the country, all within the parameters o f N145 per litre pump price.”
Kachikwu further advised against politicization of the fuel crisis and also against speculation on petrol prices, stating that these are further worsening the situation.
He said, “We should make this very clear. This is not a matter for speculation. Anybody who does speculation on it is not being helpful to Nigerians, especially that they have already gone through a very difficult Christmas period.
“ We are working night and day to try and find solutions. It is not a political issue; people should step out of that goal post. We want to provide succour to Nigerians, we want to provide the product at N145, that is the presidential mandate; that is the Federal Executive Council mandate; nobody is having a deliberation on that.”
He further stated that the government is considering stiffer sanctions for marketers that were seen selling above the regulated price.
“I have reacted to this, I think it is very important to make this go universally clear. We are actually looking at steps for those who have breached these processes, what we can do to penalise them and also set very stiff penalties for those who go to sell above N145.
“Going forward, after the recommendations, they would be very massive enforcement; very firm position on this issue; very firm tracking of product in this country. Nobody deserves this sort of up and down in terms of product supply in this country,” he averred.