Fuel price hike looms as NNPC laments N145 per litre

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By: Joy Odor/Abuja

Indications emerged yesterday that the price of premium motor spirit, PMS otherwise known as petrol may soon be increased as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, expressed dissatisfaction over the current selling price of N145 per litre in the country.

The Corporation said that oil price in Nigeria cheapest in West Africa sub-region.

Group Managing Director, GMD of NNPC, Mele Kyari said the low fuel price and smuggling are the two key factors hampering high revenue generation of the agency.

“The N145 per litre fuel price regime Nigeria runs against the N350 per litre most of the other west African countries operate, encourages smuggling, which invariably affected revenue generation for the agency and by extension the country.

“It is even very difficult for us to make the Petroleum Product available at N145” he said.

He added that Nigeria is not benefiting optimally from gas production.

He however informed the Senate leadership that as far as projected daily production level is concerned , remarkable achievement has been made with the 2.3million barrel daily production being recorded as against 1.6m barrel recorded on daily basis in 2016.

He assure that before the year runs out, the corporation would meet the revenue projection of the appropriations act since according to him, the NNPC was working tirelessly with the customs and security agencies in controlling and containing cross border activities of the oil smugglers.

In his own submission, the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR,, Rufai Ahmed Ishaku, called on the National Assembly for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, saying that doing so will significantly transform the oil and gas industry and attract revenues.

Also speaking before the Senate leadership, Controller General of Custom, Hameed Ali informed the lawmakers that Custom Service has generated N653.3 billion by the end of June 2019 adding that N1.202 trillion in the 2018.

“We collected N1.202 trillion in 2018 and as at June this year , we have collected N653.3 billion. We will surpass 2018 revenue by the end of the year, he assured.

Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services. FIRS, in his own submission , informed the Senate leadership that in the last 2 months, FIRS has generated about N6.5 billion.

He added that by the end of this quarter, the agency would have been able to generate about N500 billion from its aggressive revenue drive in meeting the projections made in the 2019 budget .

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan told the executives of the revenue agencies that the purpose of the collaboration, was to gear them up in making more revenues for the government for effective and efficient budget implementation.

“It is very worrisome that the country within the last few years, have been resorting to borrowing from external lenders for implementation of capital components of the yearly budget.

“This is not good for the country economically when we have agencies that can assist in generating revenues at home for execution of such projects.

“What is happening today is not healthy and must be critically addressed by all stakeholders involved”, he said.

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