The Federal Government has said that Nigerians would be paying about N183 per litre for petrol once the petroleum sector was fully deregulated.
This was disclosed by Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum, during a meeting in Abuja between a government delegation and labour leaders over the recent increase in the price of petrol.
Speaking on the increase in petrol pump price from N145 per litre to about N160 per litre, Mr Sylva said the government only partially deregulated the oil sector, noting that full deregulation would have led to a further price increase.
“So today, we can say yes we have deregulated, but we can also tell you here now, we have not fully deregulated because of the concerns that the government have for Nigerians,” Sylva told the labour leaders.
“Why have we kept it at N161? Frankly speaking, let us face it and this is what I will tell you. One of the things that the president considered; he said if you take it to the full scale of deregulation, today, prices should have been around N183 because you all know this”
“It is time for Nigerians to face reality and do the right thing. What is deregulation going to do? It is going to free up a lot more money. At least from the very beginning, it will save us up to a trillion and more every year,” he said
The minister said government partially deregulated the sector because it was spending too much on subsidy.
“The federal government spent N10.4 trillion on petrol subsidy between 2016 and 2019, while the country was losing N1 billion daily to fuel subsidy between 2016-2019,” he said.