Petrol subsidy

By Obas Esiedesa – Abuja

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Engr Farouk Ahmed has disclosed that the Federal Government will continue to pay the cost of bridging petrol to ensure its availability across the country.

Ahmed in a statement at the weekend explained that the Authority will also offset all the bridging verified claims by all the stakeholders in the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country.

He assured petroleum tanker drivers and other stakeholders that the Authority was determined to continue the payment of bridging rate to ensure effective distribution of products nationwide.

The CEO also revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has stopped charging in dollars for their shipping services.

He also disclosed that both the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) were expected to also begin to charge for their services in Naira very soon as the two agencies of government have started engaging the Ministry of Transportation to get necessary approval.

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Ahmed urged indebted marketers that collect bridging levies provided for in the pricing template to remit such deductions to enable the Authority pay outstanding claims.

Ahmed had at the weekend insisted that the current petrol pump price would remain for now with the expected high rate of travels during the festive period.

Presently, petrol sells at N162/163 per litre in most major petrol stations with independent marketers selling at N165/litre.

He assured consumers that there would be no price increase in the immediate future.

According to him, “I will like to assure everybody that it is mere speculation. There will be no increase in the pump price, not in the near future. This is peak consumption period for Nigerians. Our focus must be on the average Nigerian who is on the street.

“People will be travelling now and so you don’t increase pump price arbitrarily like that. So the pump price will be maintained and Nigerians should feel free to travel”, he added.

He however pointed out “But having said that, yes there are issues. Last two weeks the chief executive led, for the first time, we had every major player under the same roof. They raised the issues, the issues were addressed as much as we could and we all left with happy faces and handshakes.

“This is the way forward for now. The NNPC was represented by as high as the Group Executive Director, Downstream, who assured that there will be sufficient supply during this period.

“And even on the dollar payment issue they (NNPC) conceded to take freight in naira. This is because as we know the dollar issue is critical. So I will like to assure everybody that there will be no pump price increase”, he stated.

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