Premium Motor Spirit It is hard to retain petrol price at N145/litre - Petroleum Minister

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NNPC has done what it is supposed to do as a supplier of last resort, but the reality is that the NNPC needed to be run as a business.

Here's why petrol may soon sell for N175 per liter play

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources

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The Nigerian government has disclosed it is currently taking steps to avoid increasing the price of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) from its current N145.

Dr Ibe Kachukwu, the Minister of State of Petroleum Resources, who was represented by Mr Henry Ikem-Obih, the Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Lagos on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at the Rainoil 20 Anniversary Lecture disclosed this to the audience.

“We are also working very hard with the NNPC to reduce some of the charges on products such as the usual five percent provision on proforma invoices as allowed for ship-to-ship operations.

“We are doing this all these to help manage and maintain the current price ceiling of N145 per litre in the face of very significant challenges,” he said.

While assuring efforts by the ministry to achieve this goal, he said the ministry would continue to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make foreign exchange available to oil marketers for the importation of petroleum products.

NNPC starts enforcing sale of petrol at N133 per litre play A worker fills the tank of a car at a petrol station. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

In recent times, there has been a relative improvement in the performance of NNPC in terms of service delivery, products supply and distribution.

To maintain this performance, the minister stated that “it has done what it is supposed to do as a supplier of last resort”, but the reality is that the NNPC needed to be run as a business.

“So, we must begin to move the market to a point where private sector operators are more involved. If we achieve that, everybody will compete and have a longer-term view of the market from an investment standpoint”, Kachukwu added.

Also commenting on the challenges facing players in the industry and way forward, the Group Managing Director of Rainoil Limited, Mr Gabriel Ogbechie, noted that oil and gas industry is still fraught with many challenges and “at a time like this, the industry stakeholders should come together to discuss the way forward.”

“We are convinced that significant changes are needed if we are to move forward.” Mr Ogbechie submitted.