Timipre Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources, says Nigerians will get used to the deregulation of the pump price of petrol the same way they adjusted to similar actions with diesel and kerosene.
Sylva was addressing state house correspondents on Monday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Monday. The minister said petrol is mostly used by the elites while diesel and kerosene are more important to the ordinary citizens.
He explained that trucks that move food products from one part of the country to another use diesel and most of the Nigerian masses use kerosene, which has since been deregulated.
“Look at it, a situation where diesel has been deregulated long ago, a situation where kerosene has been deregulated long ago, and these are the fuels the poorest people in Nigeria interact with more. Why do I say that?” he said.
“If you want to transport food from the north to the south, it will be by trucks that are run by diesel, not with petrol. Those trucks that transport food from the north to the south are usually run by diesel.
“Kerosene is the preferred fuel at the lowest level of our society. These have been deregulated long ago. So, what is the problem with deregulating petrol, which is mostly used by the elite?
“Let us be fair to this country, let us be fair to the poor people in this country.“If we have deregulated what they were using, then there is actually no reason why we should continue to subsidise petrol. I feel so. That’s my personal feeling.”
In March, the federal executive council approved a monthly review of petroleum products prices in line with the international market prices following the impact the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, recently increased the depot price of petrol to N155.17.