Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timpire Sylva, made this known to the public at the launch of the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking at the conference, Sylva said;
“Since we are optimizing everything, NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) needs to also think about the optimization of product cost because, as we all know, oil prices are where they are today: $60.
“As desirable as this is, this has serious consequences as well on product prices. So we want to take pleasure, and we should, as a country, be ready to take the pain.
“Today, the NNPC is taking a big hit from this. We all know that there is no provision in the budget for subsidy. So, somewhere down the line, I believe that the NNPC cannot continue to take this blow. There is no way because there is no provision for it.
“As a country, let us take the benefits of the higher crude oil prices, and I hope we will also be ready to take a little pain on the side of higher product prices.”
Reacting to the news, some stakeholders and affected Nigerians spoke with news correspondent.
One car spare part dealer in the Zuba market who ask to be kept anonymous expressed his displeasure from the increment in food prices items due to production cost.
According to the car dealer, the cost of production is high because, “There is nothing we do these days without power; the money Nigerians spend on fuel a day if saved, would help in alleviating the challenges.
“How can the government think of increasing fuel price at this moment when everyone is just trying to survive?”
In the same tone, the State Coordinator for African Youth Union Commission (AYUC), Benue State Chapter, Mr. Aguredam Keghter Moses, said the increment in petrol during an interview with a correspondent on Wednesday is coming at the wrong time.
He opined, “At this point when Nigeria is ranked among the poorest countries in the world with untold hardship, it shouldn’t be the time when fuel hike should be the order of the day.
“I clearly recall the campaign promises of this present administration, when they promised the Nigerian populace of 1 refinery each year till they leave office, now, that has become like building a castle in the air.
“The increase in pump price is uncalled-for and unacceptable as it may increase hardship on the general public.”