The presidency has reacted to speculations that there was going to be a hike in the pump price of PMS across the country soon following a marginal increase in the crude oil price. In a press briefing at State House, the Presidential Spokesperson, Chief Ajuri Ngelale officially declared that there is no increase in the pump price of PMS as earlier clarified by the NNPC Ltd and that in the near term a price increase is not envisaged.
The presidential Spokesperson also revealed that the President is working hard to ensure all inefficiencies in the downstream and midstream subsectors of the petroleum industry are eliminated in order to maintain pump prices at the current levels without re-introducing any form of fuel subsidy. The President also appealed to the organised Labour movement to hold their peace and be guided by facts and correct information on the realities in the petroleum industry before issuing threats.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale also revealed some graphics authorised by the President showing the pump price of PMS in the West African subregion and few neighbouring countries in the Central African subregion. From the information contained in the graphics, Nigeria’s PMS price band of N580-N630 per liter is still the cheapest by some distance in the subregions.
He also disclosed that daily fuel consumption figures have fallen sharply since June 1 when the oil subsidy removal kicked from 67 million liters per day consumption to 46 million liters per day consumption.
Below is the text of the press briefing by the official Spokesperson of the President, Chief Ajuri Ngelale:
This morning, I had the privilege of sitting down with His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as we discussed the current unfolding events in the country as it relates to fuel supply and demand.
The President wishes to state first that it is incumbent upon all stakeholders in the country to hold their peace. We have heard very recently from the organised labour movement in the country with respect to their most recent threat. We believe that the threat was premature and 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 Ltd. 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 PMS.
We also wish to affirm that the President is determined to maintain competitive tension within all subsectors 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 entity dominating the market. The market has been deregulated, it has been liberalised 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 subsectors that once very swiftly addressed and cleaned up will ensure that we can maintain prices where they are without having to result to a reversal of this administration’s deregulation policy in the petroleum industry.
I wish at this juncture to also provide a set of graphics, which the President has authorised me to share with Nigerians that otherwise would be confidential. These are graphics supplied to Mr. President by the NNPCL. In the graphics, what you will find is the present cost of refined petroleum motor spirit at the pump in each of the West African nations that neighbor us and I will just name some examples 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 N1273 equivalent per liter, Guinea at N1075 per litre, Cote d’voire at N1048 per liter equivalent in their currency. Mali, N1113 per liter, Central African Republic, N1414 per liter. Nigeria is presently averaging between N568 and N630 per liter. We are presently the cheapest, most affordable purchasing state in the West African subregion 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 liters per day consumption down to 46 million 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 promise from the beginning, we will be open with Nigerians, we 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 liquidity 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. With that I thank you very much.