Petrol May Officially Sell At N130 As FG Is Set To Privatize Refineries
As the federal government struggles to end a fuel crisis which has shamefully lasted over five months, it has hinted at deregulating the downstream petroleum sector and jettisoning its petrol price modulation policy.
The Guardian reports that sources within the ministry of Petroleum Resources disclosed to the media outfit that plans are being concluded to sell Nigeria’s refineries within the next 12 months and allow private marketers to resume full importation of fuel products which they will also be at liberty to sell at profitable margins.
The petroleum ministry sources however indicated that the new policy may likely push the pump price of petrol to about N130 per litre at retail outlets.
Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu who doubles as the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had stated in the course of a visit to Okrika jetty that the federal government was already in talks with major oil companies like Agip and Chevron to take over the operation of two refineries within 12 months.
“We have gotten commitments from some of the majors. Agip has indicated interest to work with us on Port Harcourt, Chevron on Warri. We are talking to Total on Kaduna,” Kachikwu said.
However, the minister had earlier stated that the refineries would not be disposed off, but said government would seek investors to co-locate new refineries near the existing ones which presently perform abysmally lower than their installed capacities.
At the visit to Okrika jetty, he affirmed that “the refineries would not be sold but joint venture partners with established track records of success in refining would be invited to support the running of the refineries in order to ensure efficiency.”
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Monday decried opposition to deregulation by a section of the stakeholders in the sector. The executive secretary of the PPPRA, Sotonye Iyoyo, explained that there was the need to allow the deregulation of the downstream industry in order to pave the way for efficient and competitive products supply and enhanced investment.
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