The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has addressed the concerns of Nigerians regarding the surging prices of petrol, assuring them that competition among major players in the oil sector will lead to a decrease in the price of petrol, countering the current upward trend causing panic in the country.
On Wednesday, the NNPC announced an adjustment in the pump price of petrol to reflect market realities, although they did not specify the new prices.
However, various retail outlets have been selling the product between ₦600 and ₦800 in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, and other states.
Discussions between the Federal Government and organized labor regarding the removal of fuel subsidy ended in a deadlock on Wednesday, as no consensus was reached due to the hike in petrol pump prices to over ₦700 from ₦195 per liter by oil marketers.
During an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Thursday, Kyari explained that the removal of subsidy would encourage new entrants into the market, fostering competition and eliminating monopolies.
He expressed confidence that healthy competition would ultimately lead to a decrease in petrol prices across the country.
Kyari stated, “The beauty of this (subsidy removal) is that there will be new entrants (into the market) because oil marketing companies’ reluctance to come into the market all along is the very fact of the subsidy regime that is in place.”
He added, “As soon as the market stabilizes, oil marketing companies are able to come in.
Competition will definitely come in, and the market will regulate the prices itself.
Therefore, this is just an instantaneous price, and within a week or two, you will continue to see different prices because of different approaches from major players.”
Kyari also addressed the recent price hikes by fuel stations, stating that it was a result of stock management in the market.
He emphasized that prices could fluctuate and that the market would adjust itself accordingly.
“The prices we are seeing today at our stations are the current price of the commodity.
This means that prices in the market can go down at any time, and of course, the market will adjust itself,” Kyari assured.
With hopes of increased competition and improved efficiency, Nigerians can anticipate a natural decrease in petrol prices in the near future.