The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has said that the assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by President Muhammadu Buhari will end petrol subsidy in Nigeria.
Sylva stated this while speaking at the Nigeria/Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries: 50 Years of Partnership press conference in Abuja.
According to the minister, it was best for Nigeria that the Federal Government discontinued subsidy on petrol, adding that the recently passed PIB had no provision for subsidy.
Sylva said: “This (subsidy removal) is desirable for the interest and growth of Nigeria. Of course, everybody will have their perspectives, but from where I sit, I believe that subsidy removal is the best thing for Nigeria, not just the industry.
“So far, the discussions with stakeholders are still ongoing. But I will also bring it to your attention that today, when the President assents to the PIB, subsidy will become a matter of law, because it is already in the PIB that petroleum products will be sold at market determined prices.”
Speaking further, the minister said: “The removal of subsidy has the potential of unlocking a lot more funds for deployment to development. Unfortunately, what we are doing by way of subsidy is like cutting our nose to spite our face.”
Sylva also disclosed that the government would begin the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries soon in order to increase domestic refining of petrol and to cushion the impact of subsidy removal.