We’ll maintain petrol price without subsidy reversal, says Tinubu
• ‘Strike threat by Labour premature’
• Fix productivity constraints, stabilise FX to tackle rising inflation, CPPE urges FG
President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, declared he was not contemplating reversal of the decision which removed fuel subsidy in the country, describing threat by Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) as premature, and urging Nigerians to hold their peace.
This came as he assured of a stabilised pricing regime for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
The President said his government is poised to take measures to maintain the current pump price of PMS without reversal of its policy on subsidy removal. He affirmed that there will be no increase in price in any part of the country.
Addressing newsmen after he met with President Tinubu to discuss the issue, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said: “The official position is that there is no increase in prices at this time and that Mr. President is convinced, based on information before him, that we can maintain current pricing without reversing our deregulation policy by swiftly cleaning up existing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sector.”
The presidential aide said it is incumbent on all stakeholders to hold their peace and endeavour to do due diligence to ascertain the true position. He said the President is intent on maintaining competitive tension to ensure no single individual or organisation dominates the sector.
Ngelale said the government will address inefficiencies in the midstream and downstream petroleum value chains so that the price can be stabilised.
Using a graphic chart to provide further clarity, the spokesman explained that the cost of petrol is still much cheaper in Nigeria than in other West African countries.
Ngelale said: “This morning, I had the privilege of sitting down with President Bola Tinubu as we discussed the current unfolding situation in the country as it relates to fuel supply and demand. The President wishes, first, to state 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 concerning their most recent threat.
“We believe that the threat is premature and that there is a need for 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 NNPC limited just yesterday that there will be no increase in the pump price of PMS 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 sub sectors of the petroleum industry.”
This came as Director of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr. Muda Yusuf, urged the Federal Government to fix production and productivity constraints, stabilise the exchange rate by ensuring liquidity in the forex market, and tackle insecurity.
He said this yesterday, following headline inflation figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which accelerated to 24.08 per cent in July, as against 22.79 per cent in June.
He said surging inflation has had a devastating effect on citizens’ welfare and the health of small businesses. He maintained that tackling inflation requires urgent government intervention to address challenges bedeviling the supply side of the economy.
He also urged the government to accelerate efforts to ensure domestic refining of petroleum products and fast-track tax and fiscal reforms to curb escalating deficit spending.
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