The Federal Government has announced plans to provide alternative petrol – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) – for the common man costing between N95 and N97 per litre.
The Federal Government also promised that it would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by May 29, 2020.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, revealed this information to the reporters in Abuja on Thursday. Asked if the government would slash the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump prices to make it more affordable, the minister said there were proposals to provide a cheaper alternative fuel.
He revealed the Compressed Natural Gas fuel has undergone a pilot project in Benin City where more than 10,000 vehicles are already running on it.
With CNG, Sylva said fuel costs will decrease to around N95 per litre.
According to him: “What we have decided is that we should try and give the masses an alternative. This will move the masses to CNG.
“That is transport vehicles for example, out of the PMS loop to be using the Compressed Natural Gas. CNG costs less than the subsidized PMS. Per litre the subsidized rate of the PMS is N145 per litre. CNG will cost about N95 to N97 per litre.”
Sylva posed that the Nigerians would never again experience fuel scarcity.
Asked to comment on the $62b court settlement payment that Nigeria expects from the IoC, he explained that it’s such a cumbersome process to analyze because it’s been a long time that $20 per barrel has stopped being a windfall.
He submitted that from the look of the reconciliation of the time it stopped being for the firms and since it was not a looted fund piled anywhere, the federal government and the firms actually had to settle it in a friendly way.
He said that “there is no $62 billion anywhere that any company can pay.”
According to him, the industry has stagnated for a very long time due to the fact that the bill has not been passed, which the ministry now plans to lobby the National Assembly to pass in bulk. According to him, the industry has stagnated for a very long time due to the fact that the bill has not been passed, which the ministry now plans to lobby the National Assembly to pass in bulk.
He remembered that the UAE produced 2.7 million barrels per day at the time.
According to him, the UEA has risen to 4 million a day, though OPEC claims that the production of Nigeria today is 1.774 million barrels a day.
Enumerating the benefits Nigeria would reap from the legislation’s passage, he said it would create an enabling atmosphere for investors to enter the industry.
With the passage of the bill, the minister said it would become possible to merge the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its Joint Ventures.
He added that with the legislation in place, it would become possible to conduct major bid rounds, in which its proceeds can be channeled into project development.
The minister noted: “Counting on the current harmony between the legislation and executive, we are optimistic that both the Petroleum Industry Administration and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, on the other hand, will be passed within the first anniversary of this administration.
“We want to progress the consideration and passage of the overall petroleum and legislation. The team working in the PIB is on the final of the harmonization of the different versions from 2000 to date (2009, 2012 and 2018).”
Earlier, Sylva dropped the hint of the ministry’s plan to bring the petroleum sector closer to the country’s common man. He said plans to make the fuel more affordable and accessible to the common man are already underway.