- explains current fuel scarcity
Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has denied reports that the Federal Government has backed down in its complete removal of petrol subsidy.
There had been media reports in the last two weeks that the government has been paying subsidies on petrol so as to keep the pump price from skyrocketing beyond the current average of N620 per liter.
But emerging from a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Vila on Monday, Kyari insisted to State House correspondents that there is no subsidy whatsoever, because the NNPCL is fully recovering its costs of supplying the product.
His words: “No subsidy whatsoever. We are recovering our full cost from the products that we import and sell to the market.
“We understand why the marketers are unable to import. We hope that they do so very quick and these are some of the interventions government is doing. But there is no subsidy.”
On the fuel scarcity that has been noticed in some States and Abuja over the weekend, the oil boss blamed the development on a mixture of bad roads, competition among marketers and foreign exchange challenges.
According to him: “We have seen in very few States pockets of very low queues. This is not unconnected with the road situation as we’re seeing the number of blockades on our roads crossing products from the southern depots into the northern part of the country, and it takes them a much longer time now.
“They have to reroute their trucks around many, many locations for them to be able to reach destinations and that created delays and some supply gaps. But that has been filled and we do not see any of such problems again.
“Secondly, because of the full deregulation that we have in this sector, marketers are now competing amongst themselves. So, you must have noticed some fuel stations will reduce price by two Naira and three Naira so customers will naturally run to the places where you have that reduction in prices.
“That creates panic, because for those who don’t know why they are doing it, they will think that there’s something wrong happening, or there’s an ominous sign of scarcity and people start queuing up in the fuel stations.
“Otherwise, there is no challenge. Supply is robust. We have over 1.4 billion litres of product in our hands, both marine and land. Also there are no issues around delivery of those products into the land. So there is no fear, nothing to bother about.
“We are also happy that the market forces are now playing out and marketers are competing and of course there are a few issues we’re engaging them to resolve alongside other agencies of government and critical issues around access to foreign exchange.
“As you all know, government is doing so much to ensure supply of FX (foreign exchange) into the market.
We know that this FX market will stabilize. Current I&E window is around N770.
“And we know that those inputs that are already happening, the inputs of government today will crystallize and also they will come to an equilibrium position in the FX market and this is a dream of this country.
“So, they will have a stable FX market, stable product market where the prices of product will also speak to prices of other commodities. And this is already manifesting and we think this is the economic revolution that this country needs.”