By Akinwale Kasali
The nation is on the verge of witnessing a repeat of what happened four years ago when the pump price of Petrol jumped from N97 to N145 a few months after the inauguration of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
A repeat of that is allegedly in the offing. The government may increase the pump price of Petrol to much more than N145 a litre.
The new Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari, gave this inkling when he dismissed the N145 pump price as the cheapest in West Africa.
Kyari, stated this during a visit to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
Kyari was making submissions on revenue generation before the leadership of the senate, and the way to improve it for the benefit of the nation.
He identified cheap fuel price and smuggling as the two key factors hampering revenue generation by the agency.
“The N145 per litre fuel price regime in Nigeria runs against the N350 per litre most of the other West African countries operate thus, encouraging smuggling.
“It is even very difficult for us to make the product available at N145,” he said.
The NNPC boss, also, said the Corporation would lobby the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of laws relating to the oil and gas industry so as to enhance performance.
The NNPC stated that the move would ensure the emplacement of an enabling legal framework for the growth of the oil and gas sector.
Immediate past GMD, Maikanti Baru,who was at the meeting, said a visit to the senate president was part of the programmes planned for the period of transition but was not realised due to exigencies.
Baru stressed that he considered it necessary to still visit, even after the formal handover, considering the good relations he enjoyed with Lawan, and also to ask the Senate to support his successor in actualising the goals of the NNPC for the sustainability and growth of the nation at large.
He stated that beyond introducing his successor, the visit was meant to canvass the senate’s support for the quick passage of the Deep Offshore Amendment Bill, which could boost the government’s revenue with about $5 billion per annum.