As oil price hit the $60 mark at the international market, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Slyva, has urged Nigerians to prepare for a possible increase in pump price.
The minister while restating that there is no budgetary allocation for fuel subsidy in the 2021 budget said, it had become imperative for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to optimize its cost.
Speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimization Programme (NUCOP), which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, Sylva said while Nigeria is prepared to reap the benefits of higher crude prices, citizens should also be prepared for the inevitable higher products prices.
“As a country, let us take the benefits of the higher crude oil prices and I hope we will also be ready to take a little pain on the side of higher product prices,” he said.
He explained that the NNPC needs optimization of product cost adding that the corporation is presently taking a hit from the effect of higher crude prices in relation to products cost. “We all know that there is no provision in the budget for subsidy. So, somewhere down the line, I believe that the NNPC cannot continue to take this blow. There is no way because there is no provision for it,” the minister stated.
Since the government announced its subsidy removal policy last year, pump price of fuel has been increased six times. The product which presently sells between N163-N170 band, rose from N121.50-N123.50 per litre in June 2020, before being increased to N140.80-N143.80 in July. It was further increased to N148-N150 in August, before rising to N158-N162 in September and then, to the present N163-N170 band in November 2020.