- Diesel, kerosene too to drop
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has reduced petrol price at the pump from N145 per litre to N125.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari approved the petrol price reduction after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, briefed him on the matter.
Sylva also made a presentation to the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
“The drop in crude oil prices has pushed the expected open market price of imported petrol below the official pump price of 145 per litre,” Sylva said.
He added, “Therefore, the FG is directing the NNPC to reduce ex-coastal and ex-depot prices of PMS to reflect the current market realities.”
Speaking with journalists after the session, he said the new price would take “immediate effect.”
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The government directed the NNPC and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency to work out the details immediately.
He added that the pump prices of diesel and kerosene would also be reduced. Sylva said the NNPC would roll out all the new prices immediately.
In complying with the directive, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the corporation had reviewed its ex-coastal and ex-depot prices for petrol accordingly.
He said, “Effective 19th March 2020, NNPC Ex-coastal price for PMS has been reviewed downwards from N117.6/litres to N99.44/litre, while ex-depot price is reduced from N133.28/litre to N113.28/litre.
“These reductions will therefore translate to N125/litre retail pump price. Despite the obvious cost implication of this immediate adjustment to the corporation, NNPC is delighted to effect this massive reduction of N20/litre for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
Kyari stated that all NNPC retail stations nationwide had been directed to change the retail petrol price to N125/litre.
In May 2007, under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the pump price of petrol was increased from N65 to N75.
It was reduced in the administration of late President Musa Yar’adua to N65 per litre in June 2007 and stayed so till 2011 under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In 2012, still under Jonathan, the price moved up to N97. However, the government reduced the price to N87 per litre in 2015.
The regime of Buhari increased the price to N145 per litre in May 2016 until the current announcement which takes effect today.
Not long after the announcement of the price reduction, oil marketers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria expressed support for the Federal Government’s decision.
The Chairman, MOMAN, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, said, “We (MOMAN) will do whatever is in our power to make whatever policy the government is coming up with to work. We are assured that in implementing this policy, government will have the best interest of the industry at heart as we looked forward to getting other details.
“The main message here is that we are in total support of whatever policy government comes up with that will bring succour to Nigerians and improves the downstream operations.”
Oyebanji, who is the Managing Director of 11Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), expressed the hope that the latest move would be beneficial to the petroleum downstream sector.
He said, “We are not sure whether it’s a reduction or a complete deregulation. It is a bit difficult to say now, but we hope that in the process, marketers’ margin will be improved within the industry, so as to attract more investment that people will invest in the business.
He added that if the facilities and operations of the members were safe, it would make delivery more efficient.
Meanwhile the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA has commended the Federal Government on the reduction in the petrol price from N145 per litre to N125.
The Federal Government on Wednesday directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to make the reduction.
This, the government said, was to reflect the current crash in the global price of crude oil.
Speaking on the reduction, the Director-General, NECA, Dr Timothy Olawale, said, the reduction was a welcome development
He said, “However, government should allow the international price of crude to determine the prices of the product in Nigeria, and the template should be flexible to accommodate changes as it might occur.”
Olawale added that the price of PMS and other petroleum products could have been much lower if the pricing template had been rigorously followed and applied.
While he called for caution, noting that Nigeria operated a mono-economy hinged on oil, he advised the Federal Government to ensure a total eradication of the subsidy regime in whatever form in the country.