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‘Poor pricing of petrol may jeopardise oil, gas investment’


The Minister of State for Pretroleum Resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu PHOTO: TWITTER/NNPC

NNPC imported $5.8b petrol to arrest fuel crisis
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu yesterday in Abuja supported the need for a regulation that will allow market forces to determine proper pricing of petroleum products in Nigeria.

At the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, Kachikwu stated that unless the issues confronting proper pricing of petroleum products, were urgently addressed, attracting investment to the sector may remain elusive.

Linking the current fuel scarcity in the country to price modulation, industry stakeholders had said the poor pricing regulatory framework put in place by government remained major factor confronting the sector and dragging back efforts on energy sufficiency in the country.

Indeed, the projection that the country would have private and public refineries running in the coming year may also face setback “because nobody is going to build a refinery and sell products at a loss,” Kachikwu said.

According to him, the greater challenge the country would have and still have is that of pricing.

He said that addressing the challenge would encourage producers in value chain by providing incentives.

Experts in the sector, including the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria  Exploration & Production Co. Ltd, Bayo Ojulari, President, Nigeria Gas Association, Dada Thomas and others insisted that government must launch a policy that would mitigate the challenges hindering gas revolution in the country.

Ojulari said Nigeria must look beyond making headlines with the volume of gas reserves to making the nation benefit from the products.

Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Ahmed Bobboi, said the agency is considering move to begin equalization of gas as part of measure to support government move in developing the gas sector.

He said the new development in the gas sector and the current gas policy of government would boost the economy of the country.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it imported 9.8 million metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) worth $5.8 billion to combat the fuel crisis that resurfaced since late last year.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, during a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts yesterday in Abuja, said the corporation’s provision of 9.8 million metric tons of petrol so far has helped a great deal in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians.

In a presentation by the GMD who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Accounts, Abdulrazaq Isiaka, NNPC stated that it carried out the massive importation in fulfilment of its statutory role of supplier of last resort to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability.

He said the corporation’s intervention became necessary following the inability of the major and independent marketers to import the product because of the high landing cost which made cost recovery and profitability difficult owing to the regulated price regime.

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