The Federal Government has said it will undertake a review of the pricing template for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, to forestall a further increase in the price of the commodity.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this during a PPPRA grand award ceremony in Abuja.
Kachikwu stated that the review of the template would be done with oil marketers and other stakeholders. It would help cushion the effect of the dwindling value of the naira against major international currencies on the price of petrol.
Kachikwu unaware of NNPC hike
Kachikwu also claimed ignorance of the fact that the NNPC stations have increased the price from N141 to N145 per litre. However, he noted that he would consult with the NNPC management to understand the reason for the increase.
“I am not aware that the NNPC has increased price. I need to look into that, it is a bit of surprise for me, because they are processes in doing this. If they have done that, it means they are doing it wrongly. Let me find out what the facts are.”
Review aimed at retaining prices
Kachikwu further explained that the pricing template review would eliminate certain charges that are attributable to the government agencies. This will ensure that price can be retained where it is at the moment.
“One of the things I think we had hoped to do, which we would still do, before we embark on any price increase is to work on those templates.”
“There are still areas that are within the government controlled aspects. Payments to the Ministry of Transport and the rest; payments to the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.”
“We are working on the possibility of being able to shift that out so that we can still modulate the prices. But I would hold a conversation with the industry and see how it is going.”
“At the end of the day, I think PPPRA is the one that has the authority. It determines if the templates does justify some level of movement. Otherwise you have a crisis of individual decisions on pricing.”
On dialogue with Niger Delta elders
Kachikwu explained the rationale for the meeting between President Buhari and Niger Delta leaders. He said it is part of a series of actions to bring lasting peace to the Niger Delta region.
He also lamented that the crisis recorded in the region over the last one year had taken its toll on the country.
“The President is committed to finding solutions to these problems. But he is committed to finding lasting solutions, not one-offs that would come to haunt us again afterwards. That is why he is taking his time to understand how these people operate.”