By Danlami Nmodu
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured Nigerians that will be no increase in pump price of petrol this time.
This was disclosed by Mr Ajuri Ngelale while addressing journalists at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.
According to Ngelale, “The official position is that there is no increase in prices at this time and that Mr. President is convinced based on information before him that we can maintain current pricing without reversing our deregulation policy by swiftly cleaning up existing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream Petroleum sector.”
While debunking purported pending increase in pump price of fuel, Ngelale said, “Mr. President and the industry stakeholders who have been widely consulted are convinced, based on information before them, that we can maintain current pricing without reversing our deregulation policy by swiftly cleaning up existing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream Petroleum sector. This is why there is no increase in prices at this time.
Ngelale disclosed that he met with the President earlier in the day, and “discussed the current unfolding situation in the country as it relates to fuel supply and demand.”
Hold the peace, Tinubu urges Labour, others
According to the presidential spokesman, “The President wishes first to state that it is incumbent upon all stakeholders in the country to hold their peace. We have heard very recently from the organized labour movement in the country with respect to their most recent threat.
“We believe that the threat was premature and that there is a need on all sides to ensure that fact finding and diligence is done on what the current state of the downstream and midstream petroleum industry is before any threats or conclusions are arrived at or issued.
“Secondly, Mr. President, wishes to assure Nigerians following the announcement by the NNPC limited just yesterday that there will be no increase in the pump price of petroleum motor spirit anywhere in the country. We repeat, the president affirms that there will be no increase in the pump price of petroleum motor spirit.
Tinubu to maintain competitive tension in petroleum industry
“We also wish to affirm that the President is determined to maintain competitive tension within all sub sectors of the petroleum industry. He is determined to ensure that our policy drawn up as well as policy implemented follows the cue that there will not be any single one entity dominating the market.
“The market has been deregulated. It has been liberalized and we are moving forward in that direction without looking back.
“The President also wishes to affirm that there are presently inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sub sectors that once very swiftly addressed and cleaned up will ensure that we can maintain prices where they are without having to resort to a reversal of this administration’s deregulation policy in the petroleum industry.
Now the graphics
He added, “I wish at this juncture to also provide a set of graphics which the President has authorized me to share with Nigerians that otherwise would be confidential. These are graphics supplied to Mr. president by the NNPCL.
“In the graphic, what you will find is the present cost of refined petroleum motor spirit at the pump in each of the West African nations that neighbour us and I’ll just name some for example, even as I know, you will be showing your audiences the graphics, which the president has graciously approved for public release today.
Senegal at pump price today of N1,273 equivalent per liter, Guinea at N1,075 per liter, Côte d’ Ivore at N1,048 per litre equivalent in their currency, Mali N1,113 per litre, Central African Republic N1,414 per litre, Nigeria is presently averaging between N568 and N630 per litre.
According to Ngelale, “We are presently the cheapest, most affordable purchasing state in the West African sub-region by some distance. There is no country that is below N700 per liter.
“So this is the backdrop we have seen that at the inception of our deregulation policy as of June 1 as Mr. President took office, we have seen PMS consumption in the country drop immediately from 67 million litres per day consumption, down to 46 million litres per day consumption. The impact is evident.
“What it also does mean though, is that we are not at the end of the tunnel. There is still a bit of darkness to travel through to get toward the light. And we are pleading with Nigerians to please be patient with us. And as we promised from the beginning we will be open with Nigerians will be transparent with them. And we are ready to show you exactly what it is that our nation is facing with respect to the illiquidity in the market in terms of foreign exchange, as a result of what is now known to have been a gross mismanagement of the Central Bank of Nigeria over the course of several years preceding this time.”