Fuel price/Electricity tariff: There is no money for subsidy — Ngige


…Says Govs to decide finally Thursday

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has announced that there is no money for subsidy of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Federal Government and advised labour officials to wait for the final decision of 36 states Governors on Thursday.This follows  increase in the international price of crude oil above $60 per barrel. The PMS  is a white product being obtained after refining of crude oil.

The price of PMS was deregulated in March 2020 when the price of crude oil dropped below $40 per barrel in the international market. The leadership of Labour unions represented by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had engaged the Federal Government for reduction in price of PMS being dispensed at filling stations  between N170 and N175 per litre..

Ngige  made the clarification after a bipartite meeting of the Federal Government and the organised labour at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa Abuja.

Ngige informed journalists that labour had investigated the report of the Technical Committee on PMS, Pricing Framework as agreed at the last meeting and made their submissions, even as that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), presented their own report.

He explained: “The labour side saw that they (NNPC) were making some points and like I said, it is a  work-in-progress. Governors are going to discuss this on Thursday. They have discussed this at the National Economic Council (NEC), and so everybody is involved because we find ourselves in dire straits.”

He added that “the NNPC has explained what they are doing is import dependent.

“Deregulation is import dependent but they are doing bulk purchasing. So, they can get discounts. They are also using foreign exchange that is discounted for them. They are not buying from the parallel market. So, all these things will be put in basket and a price will emerge from it.”

The Minister stated  that the meeting adopted the report of its Ad-hoc Technical Committee on Electricity Tariffs, made some adjustments and transformed the committee into an implementation committee, to implement all the recommendations made, including mass metering.

“You will start seeing members of the committee with the Minister of Power, going around now and making sure that the DisCos put meters for people, because there are reports that they don’t want to be distributing meters and that they want to be doing bulk billing and estimated billings. So, we don’t want that,” he assured.