President Muhammadu Buhari, through Mele Kyari, the new Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said that it is very difficult to make fuel available at N145 per litre.
He made this known while speaking during a courtesy visit to Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, at the National Assembly Complex, in Abuja.
According to Kyari, the cheap price of petrol encourages smuggling.
“The N145 per litre fuel price regime in Nigeria, runs against the N350 per litre most of the other West African countries operate, encouraging smuggling”, he said.
“It is even very difficult for us to make the product available at N145.”
The GMD, who was accompanied by Maikanti Baru, his predecessor, disclosed that the Corporation will work closely with the National Assembly, to ensure the quick passage of the Bills that would encourage the growth of the Oil and Gas sector.
In his submissions, Baru said that the visit was meant to canvass for the Senate’s support for the quick passage of the Deep Offshore Amendment Bill, which has the potential of boosting the Federal Government’s revenue by about $5 billion per annum.
Shedding light on the significance of the Bill, he explained that the nation has been virtually losing revenue running into billions of dollars, due to delay in the review of the extant Deep Offshore Act, which stipulates that the fiscal terms could be reviewed, when the price of crude oil had surpassed the $20 barrel mark, and production had gone on in those acreages consistently for 15 years.
He said that the amendment Bill proposes to raise the royalty paid on deep offshore production, in order to ensure a higher revenue take for government. He added that no operator could oppose such a move, as it is fair, going by current market realities.
Recall, that Kayode Fayemi, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, had also described the payment of subsidy as a ‘drain on resources’.