NEWS DIGEST – The Federal Government has said that petrol pricing will be fully deregulated before the end of the year.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, made this known while speaking on the controversy surrounding a new price template of N206 per litre from N162 – N163.
Sylva spoke at the University of Ibadan during the opening of the 56th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS) on Tuesday.
“We have been talking about deregulation for decades. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded. We have succeeded in deregulating some products.
“Kerosene has been fully deregulated; diesel has been fully deregulated. But deregulation of PMS (petrol) has continued to elude us. We expect that this year, we will be able to achieve that.
“But, before we do that, we want to apply the principle of tolling the roads. Before you toll a road, you are expected to give an alternative.
“So, what we want to do for Nigerians is to give a credible and cheaper fuel as an alternative before we fully deregulate and we believe we will be able to achieve this later this year.
“And this, of course, is going to be a responsible way of also maintaining our environment,” the minister said.
There were indications yesterday that the Federal Government, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress will meet for talks after the Easter break.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, stated that the Federal Government had not tabled any pump price before the Labour, contrary to the claim that the government proposed a pump price of about N202 per litre to N206 per litre, which Labour rejected by insisting on N168 per litre.
It was gathered that the last time the two sides met, it was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, who presented some market indices to Labour.
Kyari was said to have put the landing cost at N202 per litre confirming speculations that the fuel price increase was inevitable.