Why we subsidize petroleum products -NNPC GMD

By Energy Worth

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has explained the need to subsidize the petroleum products, saying that the government does not want the pump price to go beyond N145 per liter.

Fielding questions from State House corespondents after observing Juma’at prayers at the State House Mosque, he said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that all parameters be maintained to ensure that the pump price does not exceed N145 per liter.When asked to clarify the issue of payment of subsidy, he said: “Do you want me to remove subsidy? What I am saying is that the landing cost as should be sold in the pump without under-recovery should be N171.40.“However, Mr. President has directed that we should maintain all the parameters to ensure that it is sold at N145 per liter. And that is why we are selling at depot at N133.28.”He said the situation of petroleum supply in the country has normalized as he noted that the monster of scarcity had been tamed.Baru said: “I’m happy to report that we have tamed the monster that reared its head as a result of the rumored price increase about three weeks ago.“Fortunately that rumour instigated a lot of marketers to be very greedy and they decided that their fellow citizens should not enjoy the Christmas holiday and new year with ease and decided to profiteer starting by hoarding and diversion of products.“At the beginning, I did address the press, telling the world that we have sufficient products that will last us 30 days through the new year into January but because the marketers wanted to inflict harm and pains on fellow citizens, they decided to hoard products, divert them and in some cases even smuggle products out of the country.“This has been tamed by the actions we took and I personally led the war around Abuja and other teams led the war in Lagos and other parts of the country.“As of this morning, I have gone round the Abuja metropolis and I have seen that the queues have reduced significantly to almost normal level and few motorists that I heard speaking on morning programmes concerning what I have seen said they have not spent up to 30 minutes to fuel their car.“So, the monster has been tamed in Lagos, the situation has been brought into normalcy as far as two days ago and we are also getting the same thing in all other cities.“I promise that we have sufficient products that will last us for the next 30 days and we keep bringing in 50% over and above our normal consumption into the country. And vessels have been lined up. At the moment, I have eight vessels discharging products at various ports around the country.“So, Nigerians should enjoy the New Year and that Mr. President’s directive and guidance which has been very helping has been executed and normalcy has returned.“Those marketers that have hidden products in odd locations, you better bring them out and sell to the public at N145 per liter maximum. If NNPC sold it to you at N133.28, you have sufficient margin within that ambit to be able to supply and sell to the public at maximum N145 per liter.“The NNPC stations are selling at N143 per liter. So, you should be able to sell at N145 per liter.“If you go above that, the regulator, DPR and PPPRA with the support of law enforcement agencies particularly the civil defence, will make sure that the products are confiscated and given free to the public.“This is the directive that we are working on by Mr. President and is being executed to the letter. Bring them out and sell these products. We don’t have any shortage and we are making massive loadings.“Normally, we should be able to have 850 trucks to satisfy the National consumption but as at yesterday we loaded 1,750 trucks to go around the country.“So, we will continue massive load out until we reach the former position whereby all the stations will have products and truck siding.”The NNPC GMD affirmed that the cooperation was working law with law enforcement agencies to tackle the cases of hoarding and profiteering by some marketers.He said any one of them caught in the act would be prosecuted.Baru further said: “We have met with the law enforcement agencies particularly with civil defence who have helped us to mop up those people selling in jerry cans and have also helped us to mop out some of the cars that have extra tanks at least within Abuja and environs and around the country.“The legal action is to apprehend the culprits first and then take them to the courts within the time limit that is speculated.”

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