By Appolos Christian
The Federal Government has reduced the pump price of fuel by Five Naira (N5.00) following its meeting with Organised Labour on Monday.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, stated that the reduction would bring down the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) N172 to N162.
Ngige further stated that the new price regime would take off from next Monday, 14 December.
According to a statement released by Labour Ministry’s Deputy Director/Head Press and Public Relations, Charles Akpan, Ngige said that “The meeting ended very fruitfully. We have agreed that there would be a slide down on the present price of pump price of petrol (PMS) and that the price slide would get us a cut of about N5 per litre and that this will take effect from next Monday, a week from today.”
He disclosed that the cut in price did not represent a discontinuation of deregulation in the industry, as it was not a cut on the price of crude oil but only a cut on areas that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other importers had agreed they could cut cost – demurrage, freighting and other commercial areas of the pricing.
The Minister said that the meeting also agreed to set up a committee for the purpose of monitoring the industry and ensuring price stability.
He stated that the Committee would be “appraising the market forces and every other thing that would make for stability in the industry, as well as liaising with all the marketers to make sure that the cap is always maintained.”
Membership of the Committee would be drawn from NNPC, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatort Agency (PPRA), Petroleum Equalization Fund, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Finance, Budget and Natiinal Planning, the Labour Unions comprising Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC)
The Committee would report back to the Meeting on 25 January, 2021.
Ngige also noted that the Electricity Committee had made tremendous progress, would continue its activities and would also report back on 25 January, 2021.
On his part, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said that price stability would protect poor Nigerians from the volatility of the oil and gas market.
He added that the meeting agreed to protect the poor Nigerians from that volatility, especially by establishing a template and making it and all the processes involved in setting prices transparent.
Wabba said that Government had offered many palliatives, cutting across road transport, agriculture and housing sectors, and noted that the specifics of those palliatives would be worked out at the end of January, 2021.
At the meeting were Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of State, Laour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; President, TUC, Quadri Olaleye, among others.