The federal government has told Nigerians to prepare for another increase in the pump price per liter of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva revealed while speaking with newsmen on Friday, noting that the government can’t continue to pay subsidy due to prevailing economic circumstances.
Sylva spoke on the sidelines of a graduation and awards ceremony organised by the Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Minister said the government is working on totally scrapping the subsidy regime for petrol.
According to him, the subsidy is not beneficial to the common man but only a few businessmen are benefitting from the subsidy regime.
In his words, “It is very unfortunate that if (there is) an increment in fuel pump price, (it) would have an impact on the marketplace and we are not happy about that. The President especially does not want to do it, but the economic realities are staring us in the face.
“Can we continue to support the subsidy, which is not necessarily benefiting the ordinary person, but is benefiting certain individuals who are businessmen in the country? I don’t want to identify the people that are benefiting.
“Subsidy is not directly benefitting Nigerians; the biggest contact with Nigerians is kerosene consumption used by local persons for cooking; as for diesel, it is used to transport food items and so on. But these have been deregulated for a long time now.”
He however added that the increment won’t take place until discussions are concluded with stakeholders but there is no going back on subsidy removal.
“Right now, we are still in discussion with stakeholders, so we have decided to go on with subsidy for some time, until we are able to conclude our discussions with the stakeholders and announce the policy direction,” Sylva added.
mNaija learnt that there were 14 master’s degree graduates of its 2019/2020 batch seven from Friday’s event.