02 January 2011, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – The Nigerian government has officially hiked the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol to N141 per litre, with Sunday’s removal of the subsidy on the product.
The increase from N65 to N141 per litre represents a 116.9 percent hike. It is the highest single jump in the history of fuel price hikes in the country.
The new price was posted on the website of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Sunday, with the agency claiming that it represented the Maximum Indicative Benchmark Open Market Price.
It told marketers in a statement that no subsidy would be paid as from January 1, 2012.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, said on Sunday that the PPPRA announcement was in order, though he said it was not subsidy removal but deregulation.
The situation “speaks for itself” as there was no provision for subsidy in the 2012 Appropriation Bill presented by the President to the National Assembly, he added.
“It is not subsidy removal. Deregulation is more appropriate. It will be better for us to put government’s objectives in proper perspective,” he explained.
The PPPRA statement reads in part, “Following extensive consultations with stakeholders across the nation, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency wishes to inform all stakeholders of the commencement of the formal removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, in accordance with the powers conferred on the agency by the law establishing it, in compliance with Section 7 of PPPRA Act, 2004.
“By this announcement, the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry is hereby deregulated for PMS. Service providers in the sector are now to procure products and sell same in accordance with the indicative benchmark price to be published fortnightly and posted on the PPPRA website.
“Petroleum products marketers are to note that no one will be paid subsidy on PMS discharges after January 1, 2012.”