The Federal Government on Tuesday said petrol subsidy would remain for now despite the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Petroleum law prescribes a market driven downstream sector with petrol and other products selling at market price.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who briefed journalists in Abuja said the implementation of the provision will not be immediate.
The Minister explained that the price of petrol would remain at N162 per litre until the government concludes its ongoing negotiation with labour unions.
“The PIB has actually deregulated the sector but that doesn’t mean that there is going to be an immediate implementation of deregulation.
“We are mindful of the fact that this will bring some hardship and that is why we are not just rushing to implement it. The implementation framework will take of that, how we are going to alleviate the sufferings that it will bring.
“We will continue to work with labour to ensure that there is a framework that will allow us to implement this provision of the PIB”, he added.
Chief Sylva also explained that in line with the provision of the Petroleum Industry Act, the NNPC Limited will be incorporated by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of the Finance within six months.
“The PIB has clearly stipulated a time frame within which the new NNPC will be in place. It has given a time frame of six months within which time the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Finance together will incorporate NNPC Limited. That will soon start according to the law that is in place now.
“But as I said, we will wait for Mr. President because we don’t want to preempt what he will say tomorrow (Wednesday)”, he added.
He said the Transition Committee that would ensure seamless implementation of the Act would also be set up by the President.