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NNPC group general manager (GMD) Mele Kyari disclosed this at the weekly presidential ministerial media briefing on Thursday at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He lamented that the burden placed upon NNPC by the ongoing subsidisation of the cost of petrol in the country was overwhelming.
Read ALso: Why Nigerians should anticipate increase in petrol’s pump price despite assurances from NNPC
As a result of the huge sum being paid, Kyari stated that Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for petrol sooner or later.
He noted that the product was currently being sold below the cost of importation, causing the NNPC to pay the difference.
The NNPC boss, however, refrained from calling the shortfall payment a subsidy, stressing that the fund was paid to maintain the pump price of petrol at the current level.
He stated that the NNPC could no longer bear the monumental cost, saying that market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country in the nearest future.
When asked when the corporation would stop subsidising petrol, Kyari declined to give a specific date.
Minister of state for petroleum resources Timipre Sylva also gave an update on happenings in the nation’s petroleum sector.
He disclosed that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly would be passed by April 2021.
Sylva told reporters that the bill would not suffer a setback, going by all indications from the leadership of the National Assembly.
He stressed the importance of Nigeria steering away from oil to gas, adding that the 20-year-old PIB would attract a lot of investments to the gas sector.
On the issue of having functional refineries in the country, Sylva faulted Senator Dino Melaye’s analysis of the proposed rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
According to him, Melaye was not an expert on refinery and should, therefore, not impress his views on an area he was not conversant with.
The minister said the federal government remained committed to its promise to deliver a functional refinery to Nigerians in due time.