I won’t feel bad buying petrol at N300 a litre, other countries pay more, says Sylva



Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says he would not mind buying petrol at N300 a litre.


Sylva said this on Monday at the government’s accountability series titled ‘PMB administration scorecard 2015-2023’.


The event is designed to showcase the achievements of Buhari’s administration since he came into power in 2015.


Sylva, during his presentation, said other countries sell their products at higher prices than in 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,” he 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 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.”


Sylva further reiterated that petrol subsidy was not sustainable and also not profitable.


“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.”




Sylva further noted that the federal government should be applauded for improving security in the Niger Delta, which has contributed to increased oil production.


The minister said the federal government has strengthened real-time tracking of supply and distribution, thereby, improving security in the operating environment.


On the achievement of the ministry, Sylva said it was able to pass landmark legislation such as the deep sea and inland basin act and the petroleum industry act (PIA), adding that it was also promoting indigenous participation by facilitating crude access and ease of license approval.


The projected 5 percent reduction in crude oil production costs was also achieved and exceeded during the period, he said.


In addition, the minister said kerosene was no longer within the direct purview of the federal government, since the price has now been deregulated, admitting however, that it remains the fuel of the less-privileged.


Sylva also listed the gas flare commercialisation programme — which he said was at the final stage of awarding the flare points to potential winners — as one of the achievements of the present administration.

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