14 May 2016
At the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) marketers Conference yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture said that the Federal Government’s decision on fuel hike was unavoidable.
The price of fuel had been hiked from N86.50 to N145.00 and this has left a lot of Nigerians aggravated. The Minister tried to make Nigerians see that the increase in fuel price was essential to bringing an end to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and aid petrol availability to Nigerians.
The Minster explained that the decision would be of advantage to the country as it would reduce entities from hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products as it has happened in recent times. This would further stabilise the price of petrol.
Through the private sector participation, he stated that this would bring about a labour market stability. Giving convincing figures, he noted that it would create additional 200,000 jobs through new investments in refineries and retail and would prevent a loss of 400,000 existing jobs.
He further explained that the fall in the price of crude oil has caused a drastic reduction in the amount of foreign exchange available.
According to him, “the unavailability of forex and the inability to open letter of credit have forced marketers to stop product importation and imposed over 90 per cent supply on the NNPC since October 2015, in contrast to the past where NNPC supplied 48 per cent of the national requirement.”
Declaring the aim of his meeting with ADVAN is a part of government plans to link the communication between the government and the people under government. The Minister also revealed that the NNPC no longer has the resources to meet up with the demand.
“The result is the crippling fuel situation across the country. Pushed to supply 90 per cent of the products required for domestic consumption, the NNPC has continued to utilise crude oil volumes outside the 445,000 barrels/day allocated to it, thereby creating major funding and remittance gaps into the Federation Account,” he said.