Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says the federal government will soon halt the current subsidy regime for premium motor spirit (PMS), better known as petrol.
Sylva said this during a graduation and awards ceremony organised by Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, on Friday.
He said the the payment of subsidy was “benefiting certain businessmen in the country.”
“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.”
The minister said because PMS proponents are the most vocal, they continue to kick against deregulation “but we are going to get there.”
“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”.
In late April, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said there is no plan to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, for the month of May.