Fifteen months after the price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol, was increased by 68 per cent, consumers have yet to see any significant decrease in the price, contrary to the promise by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, The Punch reports.
The Federal Government on May 11, 2016 announced the removal of fuel subsidy, with a new petrol price band of N135 to N145 per litre, up from N86 and N86.50. Following opposition by many Nigerians to the fuel hike, Kachikwu said by opening up the space for people to perform, to practise their trade, “you will be amazed at what will happen to your N145 price because it will go downwards.”
More than a year after the hike, a litre of the PMS is still being sold for N145 or more in many parts of the country. The NBS said the average price paid by consumers for the PMS decreased by 1.9 per cent year-on-year and by 2.5 per cent month-on-month to 144.4 in August from N148.2 in July.
Asked when the price of fuel would come down at a media chat on Twitter on Monday, Kachikwu said, “Anything can affect the pricing either way as recently seen in the US where the hurricane induced an almost 15 per cent increase. Efficiency of refineries will definitely help,” the minister said, adding that there were plans to refurbish the nation’s existing refineries.