Former president, Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), Prof. Wumi Iledare, has defended fuel pump price increase in Nigeria, saying it is in line with development in the global oil market.
Iledare, who made the disclosure this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, on Thursday, argued that an increase or reduction in ex-depot price determines the pump price of petrol.
It would be recalled that Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) on Sept. 2 announced a new Ex- depot price of N151.56 for petrol.
According to Iledare, going by the prevailing market fundamentals, the cost of petrol could be as high as N200 per litre in the country.
“The reality on the ground,” he pointed out, “is not pretty at all with respect to what the price ought to be. At the current official exchange rate of one dollar to 385, 200 is about right price because of the level of demand driven by population and quality of life.
“Keep in mind that any attempt to invoke subsidizing petroleum has unintended consequences.”
Iledare, a professor of Petroleum Economics said that it was unfortunate that the country missed the opportunities when there was lower crude oil price.
“We suggested not to set the price then, but fear of unrest predominate government action then,” He recalled, adding, “The economy is highly dependent on oil revenue. Salaries are low and not paid. It is a double whammy for petrol to go up. But no budget to subsidize.”
He advised that Nigerians must adjust and government on its part should pump more money to the economy and invoke patriotism
“Nigeria’s exchange rates call for at least N200 per litre in Nigeria,” he pointed out.“In Ghana, a litre is about N325 -N350 per litre of petrol. Like Nigeria PMS consumed are imported, lessons can be learnt from Ghana.If Ghana is surviving, we need to learn from them.”
Meanwhile, a check in some petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) revealed that the pump price was between N158 and N162 per litre.
Apart from Total filling station in Tipper Garage, along Kubwa Expressway selling at the old price of N148.8, others had already adjusted their pumps to the new price.
Oando filling station, Gergu oil and Eterna station along the expressway were selling at N160, N159, and N158.1 per litre respectively.
Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail outlet along the same axis was selling at N160 per litre.
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