The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mela Kyari, has assured that fuel queues that have resurfaced in petrol stations in Abuja, FCT, will soon disappear.
He gave the assurance while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday to give an update on the industry.
Asked why the fuel queues were back in the capital, Kyari explained: ‘These queues will go away. It’s because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, around their compensation package and those issues were not resolved up till yesterday. Until we intervene to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace, and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.
‘As I speak to you at this moment, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatches of trucks are ongoing in all the depots in the country and they have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution. So, there’s really nothing fundamental that is happening now.’
Asked if fuel subsidy has come to stay will be done away with and if there will be increase in fuel prices, the NNPC boss said: ‘Subsidy is a policy matter, I’m sure you’re aware of this. There are engagements going on within government to get the best framework for having a fully deregulated PMS market. As this is going on, we are engaging all parties and all stakeholders as government and to make sure that, at the end of the day, there’s an exit that is beneficial to the ordinary man.
‘That is why we know we will not be able to complete that in the month of May, and therefore we declared that there will be no increase in fuel price. I have no update on hand now, this is beyond me, but we’re engaging to make sure that we have the right timeline.
‘Today, I think they save about $6 to $7…’
Asked how recent rising crude oil prices at the global market had impacted on the NNPC’s revenue, especially during a season when the country is discussing the removal of fuel subsidies, Kyari said: ‘You know it works both ways: once prices increase, your revenue also increases.
‘So, I don’t have any numbers around it, but I also know that your obligation to price of petroleum increases and your net revenue also increases. There’s a balancing factor, I don’t think there’s anything much to worry about,’ the NNPC boss explained.