Mohammed also said Nigerians should understand that the federal government can no longer afford to pay for subsidies on petrol in the face of current economic realities.
“The long drawn fuel subsidy regime ended in March 2020 when the PPMC (Petroleum Products Marketing Company) announced that it had begun fuel price modulation in accordance with the varying market dynamics,” Mohammed said during a press briefing in the nation’s capital city of Abuja.
Mohammed also wondered why the groups or individuals who are kicking against the current adjustment in petrol price, didn’t protest when the price of petrol was lowered a couple of months ago, as the world’s leading economies yielded to COVID-19 induced lockdowns.
“Recall that the price of fuel then dropped from N145 to N125 per liter and then to between N121.50k and N123.50k in May.
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“With the low price of crude oil then, the cost of petrol which is a derivative of crude oil, fell and the lower pump price was passed on to the consumers to enjoy.
“With the price of fuel inching up, the price of petrol locally is also bound to increase, hence the latest price of N162 per liter.
“If by chance the price of crude drops again, the price of petrol will also drop and the benefits will also be passed on to the consumers.
“The angry reactions that have greeted the latest prices of PMS are therefore unnecessary and totally mischievous,” Mohammed said, blaming an “opportunistic opposition” for the outrage from some sections of the public.
“The truth of the matter is that subsidizing fuel is no longer feasible, especially under the prevailing economic conditions in the country.
“The government simply can no longer afford fuel subsidies, as revenues and foreign exchange earnings have fallen by almost 60 percent due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector.
“Yet the government has had to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects.
“As oil prices recover, there will be some increases in PMS prices.
“From 2006 to 2019, fuel subsidy gulped N10.413 trillion, that is an average of N743 billion per annum.
“Petrol prices in Nigeria remain the lowest in the West-Central African sub-region,” Mohammed said, stating that the pump prices of petrol across the sub-region, as well as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are as follows:
- Liberia N257
- Sierra Leone N281
- Togo N300
- Ghana N332
- Niger Republic N346
- Benin Republic N359
- Guinea N363
- Chad N366
- Burkina Faso N443
- Cameroon N449
- Mali N476
- Senegal N549
- Egypt N211
- Saud Arabia N168
“You can now see that even with the removal of subsidy, fuel price in Nigeria remains the cheapest in Africa,” Mohammed said.
Speaking on the recent hike in electricity tariff, Mohammed also said Nigeria’s electricity tariff is one of the cheapest in Africa.
Source: Pulse Nigeria.