PIA: Petrol price increase not automatic, says Timipre Sylva
Minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva has stated that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may not automatically translate to a hike in pump price of premium motor spirit better known as petrol.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the PIB into law in what was described as his determination to fulfill his constitutional duty.
There are speculations that the new law would result in a hike in petrol price following its provisions for the deregulation of the petroleum sector and removal of subsidy.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Sylva said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would not automatically translate into hike in petrol price, adding that the price will be determined by the market.
He added that efforts would be made to establish structures to reduce the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians.
“Well as you know, the Act has actually deregulated the sector but that doesn’t mean that there will be an immediate implementation of the deregulation,” he said.
“What the Act provides is that products will be sold at market dictated prices. But we are mindful of the fact that this will bring some hardship which is why we are not going to jump into implement it.
“The implementation framework will take care of that, as well as how we are going to alleviate the sufferings that this might bring.
“It is not going to be automatic. We have been working with labour to ensure that there is a framework that will allow us to implement this deregulation provision of the Act.”
The minister said a national oil company would be unveiled in the next six months as provided in the new law.
He said the federal government is working with labour unions on how to implement the provisions of the act.
“The issue is not just about discussing with labour, because we agreed between labour and government that we need to put a framework in place for the implementation of deregulation,” he said.
“Because more or less there is consensus across the table now that deregulation is desirable. But how do we achieve it? That’s the question now. Labour and government have agreed and so we are now in the process of putting the infrastructure and process in place.
“Once we are able to agree on that process with labour then we are ready to deregulate. So, we will keep it within that band (N162 – N165 per litre) for the time being.”
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