By Obas Esiedesa
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has admonished Nigerians to be ready to bear the pains of increased petrol pump price as crude oil price climbs above $60 per barrel.
Speaking at official launch of Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Program on Tuesday, Sylva said with no provision of subsidy in the 2021 budget, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, cannot continue to bear the cost of under-recovery.
Presently, the pump price of petrol ranges from N160 –N165, the price set when crude traded just above $43 per barrel, four months ago.
According to the Minister, while government revenue has improved by the rise in crude oil price, it cannot be fretted away in subsidy payment.
He said: “Since we are optimizing everything, NNPC needs to also think about the optimization of product cost because as we all know oil prices are where they are today, $60.
“As desirable as this is, this has serious consequences as well on product prices. So we want to take the pleasure and we should as a country be ready to take the pain. Today the NNPC is taking a big hit from this. We all know that there is no provision in the budget for subsidy.
“So, somewhere down the line, I believe that the NNPC cannot continue to take this blow. There is no way because there is no provision for it. As a country, let us take the benefits of the higher crude oil prices and I hope we will also be ready to take a little pain on the side of higher product prices”, he stated.