The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Marlin Sylva, yesterday Thursday, 14 of May, 2020 in Abuja at press conference has stressed that there was needs to protect the generality of the public from undue exploitation and prevent inordinate profiteering by oil marketers who has made it mandatory for the Federal Government to keep a close monitor of the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which currently stood deregulated.
Speaking at the press conference Chief Sylva told journalists to organized and provide a status update on the operations of the Oil & Gas Industry, he added that the role of government in a deregulated environment was to provide a shield for the teeming consumers through the operations of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) which would use its price modulation mechanism to engender a market-driven price regime.
The Minister further said the PPPRA would work with marketers closely to ensured that the best pricing is achieved.
Sylvia said he was not just announcing deregulation today but he wants everyone to understand what deregulation meant, that Deregulation was approved on the 19th of March, this year, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and other petroleum products are very strategic commodities, so marketers should not be allowed to determined prices of these commodities.
Chief Sylvia explained that Consumer Protection Agency would fix a price so that nobody can profiteer inordinately from the people.
The Minister reiterated that due to the price of petroleum products, especially PMS, the Ministry was working closely with stakeholders for an alternate fuel via the revamp and aggressive introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel.
He Describing CNG to be more stable and cheaper fuel, the Minister said the introduction of CNG would also provide consumers with a viable alternative, noting that elaborate arrangements have been emplaced to make the CNG option a working alternative to PMS.
Chief Sylva revealed that the Ministry was working on an extensive Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) penetration campaign which apart from providing a veritable source of cooking fuel, would serve as a massive outlet for job creation across an expanded value chain.
According to the Minister, on the planned auction of marginal fields, the bid session would take place before the end of the year.
He was, however, quick to explain that the bid for bigger acreages which would have on offer, concessions in the shallow offshore and deep offshore assets would be dependent on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill due to the need to stabilize the fiscal frame work.
At the press conference, the Minister concluded by saying that with COVID-19 pandemic, Oil and Gas Industry and it's stakeholders was planning ahead to ensure a rewarding future Nigeria.
Mrs Enefaa Bob-Manuel
Deputy Director (Information)
15th May, 2020.