The assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will put an end to petrol subsidy in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, announced on Monday.
Sylva announced this while speaking at the Nigeria/Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries: 50 Years of Partnership press conference in Abuja.
He insisted that it was best for Nigeria that the Federal Government discontinued subsidy on petrol, stressing that the recently passed PIB had no provision for subsidy.
The minister said, “This (subsidy removal) is desirable for the interest and growth of Nigeria. Of course, everybody will have their perspectives, but from where I sit, I believe that subsidy removal is the best thing for Nigeria, not just the industry.
“So far, the discussions with stakeholders are still ongoing. But I will also bring it to your attention that today, when the President assents to the PIB, subsidy will become a matter of law, because it is already in the PIB that petroleum products will be sold at market determined prices.”
Sylva added, “The removal of subsidy has the potential of unlocking a lot more funds for deployment to development. Unfortunately, what we are doing by way of subsidy is like cutting our nose to spite our face.”
The petroleum minister further noted that the government would begin the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries soon in order to increase domestic refining of petrol and to cushion the impact of subsidy removal.
He said the OPEC quota given to Nigeria for crude oil production in June 2021 was 1.554 million barrels per day and that the quota system had helped in balancing oil prices globally.