The minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, says buying petrol at N300 a litre is not too high for citizens of the country.
Mr Sylva was featured in the government’s accountability series titled ‘PMB administration scorecard 2015-2023’ on Monday.
The event is designed by the ministry of information and culture, to showcase the achievements of Buhari’s administration since he was elected into office in 2015.
The minister, while making his presentation, said other countries sell their products at higher prices than Nigeria, hence, N300 per litre is not too high.
“Frankly, if you ask me I will say I won’t feel bad (buying fuel for N300) knowing the actual situation. And if you compare Nigeria to other countries, then you will also understand. Then you convert the N300 to other currencies, you will probably understand,” Mr Sylva said.
“A lot of you travel to the United Kingdom and the United States. How much do you buy petroleum products? Even in Saudi Arabia and in the Arab countries that produce crude oil, convert to naira, you will find out that we are not doing too badly.”
Likewise, Sylva said if the cost of petroleum products were market-driven, investors would not continue to shy away from investing in the downstream oil sector.
He added that investors will not come to the country under the subsidy regime, but said they would be willing to put their money into the sector when the market is free.
“Under a subsidised regime, who is going to invest? If you build a refinery, how is your refinery going to make a profit under a subsidised regime? But if you have a market-driven situation, you’ll see that a lot of investors will come,” he said.
“And the more refineries we have, this problem of access to petroleum products will be a thing of the past.”
Speaking further, he reiterated that the petrol subsidy was not sustainable and also not profitable for the country.
“The management of the supply situation under this subsidy regime is not easy. We must all agree [that] so much money is being burnt on our cars. But somehow we have to seek funds in order to keep the country wet,” he said.
“Sometimes, if you really think deeply, you begin to wonder what magic they are doing to even be able to keep this country wet, considering that you buy something, let’s say for N10 and you are to sell it at a loss.
“And then you are expected to go back and buy the same thing and come back and sell at a loss so that at every point in time you are looking for more money to continue to buy it because you are mandated to sell it at a loss. If you are a businessman, look at it from that perspective, that you are in a business where you are mandated to sell at a loss to the population.”
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