The federal government may in a few days, introduce policy changes heŕalding the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry, Premium Times reports, quoting “officials well briefed on the matter”.
The officials were quoted as saying that Nigerians may have to brace up for a minimum of 27.17 per cent hike in fuel price nationwide.
The policy, they say, is likely to push the pump price of petrol to about N110 per litre at NNPC-owned filling stations and higher at other independent outlets.
It was gathered that the federal government may not announce the policy officially in order to avoid a possible backlash reminiscent of the reaction by Nigerians in January 2012 when former President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to introduce a similar measure.
The Premium Times report reads further:
Industry sources familiar with the plan said government was on the verge of discreetly giving permission to petroleum products marketers to gradually adjust their pump prices as early as midweek to signal the formal take-off of deregulation in the country.
The sources, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the matter, said government resorted to that drastic decision to end the vicious cycle of fuel scarcity crises and avoid subsidy payments.
Unlike the situation in 2012, the sources said government appeared to have successfully wooed organised labour and its affiliate unions to its side.
That claim could not be independently verified by PREMIUM TIMES. The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, said he was unable to respond to the reporter’s enquiries, as he was in a meeting. He did not also respond to the text message sent to his telephone on Sunday.