The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has blamed the latest increase in the pump price of petrol from N160 to N170 per litre, on the increase in the price of crude oil, Page 36 learnt.
He stated that after the announcement of the vaccine for Covid-19 by pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, last week, crude oil prices went up.
The Minister, while speaking with State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, stated that after the announcement by Pfizer last week, on its vaccine, crude oil prices went up.
He explained that since the government has decided to remove subsidy, the price of fuel will be dictated by the increase or decrease of crude oil in the international market.
Sylva reiterated that the government could no longer sustain the subsidy on petroleum products.
He further stated that if the government can deregulate kerosene and diesel, which are mostly used by the poor, then it makes no sense to keep subsidising petrol, which is mostly used by the elites.
His words: “Going back to what you asked again about what was responsible, I thought we have explained this over and over again and let us please listen to ourselves. Petrol is refined from crude oil, so petrol price is directly related to the price of crude oil in the market.
“So, if I buy crude oil at a certain price and refine this month, if the crude price is low at the time, then my petrol price will become low because the feedstock from which I refined petrol was lower in price.
“If the price of crude oil goes up then it means the price of the feedstock has gone higher, it will also affect the price of the refined product and that is why you see that product prices are usually not static, it depends on the price of crude oil, which goes up and down. That is why we say deregulate so that as the price goes up or down you will begin to go up and down as well at the pump.
“Before now we fixed it, which was not optimal for us as a country. So we said ‘look, our earnings are not fixed because our earnings are dependent on crude oil price.”
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