The National Economic Council (NEC) has recommended an increase in the pump price of fuel, according to TheCable.
In a report, the online newspaper said NEC, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, made the recommendation in November 2021.
This is reportedly part of the government’s plan to fully deregulate the prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and eliminate monthly subsidy payments with provisions to ensure fair competition in the market.
The recommendations were put forward by the NEC ad-hoc committee interfacing with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the appropriate pricing of PMS in Nigeria.
The report was said to have been presented by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and the head of the Committee.
“The recommendation has since been reconsidered and dropped by the committee. According to the new report, the committee recommended full deregulation of PMS prices by February 2022 — raising the price by about N130/140 per litre.”
“It also recommended that all retailers should post PMS prices at all times on a designated website and smartphone app — and they are expected to post price changes no earlier than within 15 minutes of the price change.
“With the recommendations, the committee added that the federal government would save N250 billion per month on petrol subsidy removal.
“At current rates, the PMS subsidy is reducing transfers into the federation by about NGN 250 billion per month, and could, if PMS subsidies are not eliminated, result in deductions of NGN 3 trillion in 2022.
“The large-scale time-limited (6-months) cash transfer proposed as a way of transferring the subsidy “directly to the people” would cost N600 billion but would by paving the way for the elimination of PMS subsidies, enable the federation to recover N3 trillion in revenues that would otherwise go to PMS subsidies.
“If PMS subsidies are eliminated by February 2022, N250 billion in deductions would have been incurred, but the remaining N195 billion in anticipated PMS subsidy deductions could be redirected towards FGN funding of the cash-transfer programme,” TheCable said in its report.
There have been fears of likely fuel price increase in Nigeria since Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, announced the plan to remove petrol subsidy in June.
However, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the president told him that he did not order anyone to remove fuel subsidies.
Ahmed is yet to react to the claim of Lawan.
The uncertainty over fuel subsidy may be responsible for the non-availability of petrol in many filling stations in the nation’s capital and across the country.