The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has explained why the Federal Government can no longer keep up the price reduction on the fuel in the country.
Chief Timipre Sylva addressed the audience at a graduation and awards ceremony organised by the Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He made it known that due to the current economic condition, the country may have to face some harsh realities.
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He said:“It is very unfortunate that if (there is) an increment in fuel pump price, (it) would have an impact on the marketplace and we are not happy about that. The President especially does not want to do it, but the economic realities are staring us in the face.
“Can we continue to support the subsidy, which is not necessarily benefiting the ordinary person, but is benefiting certain individuals who are businessmen in the country? I don’t want to identify the people that are benefiting.
“Subsidy is not directly benefitting Nigerians; the biggest contact with Nigerians is kerosene consumption used by local persons for cooking; as for diesel, it is used to transport food items and so on. But these have been deregulated for a long time now.”
“Right now, we are still in discussion with stakeholders, so we have decided to go on with subsidy for some time, until we are able to conclude our discussions with the stakeholders and announce the policy direction.”