The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, announced on Monday that assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the President Muhammadu Buhari, will put an end to petrol subsidy in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Nigeria/Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries: 50 Years of Partnership press conference in Abuja, the minister maintained that it was in the interest of the people and government of Nigeria to end petrol subsidy, as the recently passed PIB had no provision for subsidy.
According to the minister, “This (subsidy removal) is desirable for the interest and growth of Nigeria. Of course, everybody will have their perspectives, but from where I sit, I believe that subsidy removal is the best thing for Nigeria, not just the industry.
“So far, the discussions with stakeholders are still ongoing. But I will also bring it to your attention that today, when the President assents to the PIB, subsidy will become a matter of law, because it is already in the PIB that petroleum products will be sold at market determined prices.”
He further said, “the removal of subsidy has the potential of unlocking a lot more funds for deployment to development. Unfortunately, what we are doing by way of subsidy is like cutting our nose to spite our face.”
Government would begin the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries soon in order to increase domestic refining of petrol and to cushion the impact of subsidy removal.
He stressed that the OPEC quota given to Nigeria for crude oil production in June 2021 was 1.554 million barrels per day and that the quota system had helped in balancing oil prices globally.