NLC: Allow market forces to determine the price of gasoline

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Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, previously stated that once the petroleum industry bill (PIB) becomes law, the price of gasoline could reach N300 per litre.

However, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, assuaged fears of an impending price hike by stating that organized labor must be supported.

The NLC’s National Administrative Council will meet tomorrow to take an official stance on the bill, which President Muhammadu Buhari signed on Monday.

Joe Ajaero, the NLC’s Deputy President, stated that the government must first make the country’s refineries operational before deregulate the downstream sector.
“Is deregulation synonymous with price increases?” he asked. When you say you’re deregulating, you’re basically saying you’re letting the market decide. Why is the government claiming that gasoline will sell at a specific price? That’s also a cost-effective fix.

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“Any CEO of that corporation telling us what it will cost (to buy gasoline) when they deregulate is complicit.

“If we understood from the beginning that deregulation would be left to market forces, it (the price of gasoline) could go up or down. So, why is he putting a price on it?

“This implies that there is more to the process than meets the eye.

“As a pre-condition, we at NLC have stated that the refineries must operate. We didn’t say you should start deregulating and building refineries. If they (the government) first deregulate, then fix the refineries, it will not happen.”

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