CONTRARY to widespread belief that the removal of subsidy on petrol by the Federal Government is responsible for its soaring prices, the subsidy has not been completely removed, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said on Monday.
Speaking on Channels’ Politics Today, the minister said: “We are still trying to manage this bumpy start. We have not been able to get to that 100 per cent removal of subsidy from the foreign exchange end.
“If we were to take it out completely and allow people to access foreign exchange from the parallel market and allow people to import the product, the price of the pump will even be more.
The Federal Government, knowing the impact it will have on the people, decided that they are still going to manage this situation.”
On the agreement with the Niger Republic to import oil, he said: “I don’t see that as an embarrassment at all. Nigeria is a big market. We need products. Even if all our refineries are functioning, we will still need extra products.
“Niger Republic produces oil and they are landlocked as a country. They have a refinery that refines in excess of what they require.
“They offered to sell the excess to Nigeria because this is a bigger market. In the spirit of regional cooperation, regional trade, we decided to buy from them. I don’t see anything wrong with that.”