The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has predicted that prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), aka fuel, will crash in the next four to six months as a result of the competition inherent in the price modulation.
The minister, who presented his scorecard on his two years in office in a podcast released to reporters in Abuja, said that with the price of diesel now crashed by 40 percent, it is evident that the petrol prices will also crash
He said: “once Nigerians throw their trading skill in, once competition thrives, the prices will continue to tumble.
” My guess is that you will see the prices tumble in the next four, five to six months. The market will be more stable and definitely the prices will be lower than what we see today.”
Dr. Kachikwu said that in the last 10 years, the three refineries are working simultaneously, although at 50 percent of their capacity.
“We expect to put in investment to put them to 90% capacity,” he said, adding that this is the first that the NNPC group of companies are recording savings which could be used to address the issue of the refineries alongside the Joint Venture Partners.
The minister noted that this is the first time the government is upgrading the depots to extent that of the 19 only three are not functioning at the moment.
He said this is the first time that a government is considering the replacement of the 35 year old pipelines.
It has been one massive problem after the other in order for the sector to stabilize in term of product supply in the country.
Kachikwu however submitted that but “the time has come to take on the problem bullishly and that is what we are trying to do. So, we believe the ire will be money for infrastructural development in the downstream sector.
“We believe that a lot of the companies will jump up now and be able to sell at the right prices and not the pump down by the problem of price control and will be able to grow their businesses. We believe that most of them efficient ones will drive prices southward rather than northward.
“And we believe that almost 200,000 jobs will be created in this sector and over 400,000 jobs will be saved which would have been lost if we had continued on the path we were in.”
He revealed that on assumption of office two years ago, he inherited a debt of N600billion owed to marketers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which the federal government settled.
He recalled that they seized importing the products prior to the payment of their debt.[myad]