We Are Working With Stakeholders To End Subsidy, Says Kyari
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday disclosed that the Federal Government is currently engaging with stakeholders on the process that will lead to the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in a manner that will be beneficial to the ordinary man.
He said it was because the corporation knew the engagement could not be completed in May that informed the announcement that there would be no increase in fuel price.
Kyari spoke in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Economic Confidential reported on Tuesday that with the Federal Government leaving the pump price of PMS unchanged in the first five months of this year despite the increase in global oil prices, subsidy on the product was estimated to gulp N500bn in the period.
In the Tuesday interview, Kyari said the current engagement would lead to choosing the right time for the subsidy regime to end.
The NNPC boss said, “Subsidy is a policy matter. I am sure you are aware of this.
“There are engagements going on within government to get the best framework for having a fully deregulated PMS market.
“As this is going on, we are engaging all parties and all stakeholders as government and to make sure that at the end of the day, there is an exit that is beneficial to the ordinary man.
“That is why we know we will not be able to complete that in the month of May and therefore we declared that there would be no increase in fuel price.
“I have no update in hand now; this is beyond me, but we are engaging to make sure that we have the right timeline.”
Answering a question on how increase in crude oil price increase impact on NNPC as regards subsidy, Kyari said, “You know it works both ways. Once prices increase, your revenue also increases.
“So, I don’t have any numbers around it, but I also know that your obligation to price of petroleum increases and your net revenue also increases.
“There is a balancing factor, I don’t think there is anything much to worry about.”
The NNPC boss also said the file queues currently being witnessed in Abuja and other parts of the country were nothing to worry about.
He attributed the development to an industrial action by tanker drivers and disclosed that the action had since been suspended for one week.
He added, “These queues will go away. It is because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, around their compensation package and those issues were not resolved up till yesterday (Monday), until we intervened to ensure that there is an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.
“As I speak to you at this moment, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatches of trucks are ongoing in all the depots in the country and they have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us to intervene and find a solution.
“So there is really nothing fundamental that is happening now.”
Kyari described his visit to Buhari as a regular update visit that is not for the public.
“It is usual for the Group Managing Director to continuously brief Mr President on updates in the industry and what is going on in the country around our business,” he explained.