The Federal Government has disclosed that the recent hike in pump price of premium motor spirit, better known as petrol, and increase in electricity tariffs were borne out of necessity and that plans are underway to regulate marketers and industry players of both sectors to ensure citizens were not ripped off through arbitrary prices.
As stated, the increase had become imperative after the outbreak of coronavirus which affected the country’s economic fortune and necessitated the review of the 2020 budget to reflect the country’s current reality.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said that the increase, particularly that of petroleum was a result of the apex government deregulation initiative which ended the subsidy regime and that the fluctuating pump price was subjected to global prices of oil.
Addressing participants during the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat on Monday in Abuja, Osinbajo admitted that the country could not continue with subsidizing petroleum for the citizens and the financial burden was taken a toll on the country’s earning and taxpayers money.
According to him, the citizens would have to endure the inconveniences as part of measures to augment the government’s effort in repositioning the country’s for greater efficiency by eliminating all loopholes of systemic corruption.
The Vice President revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was not considering returning to the subsidy regime, saying the country could not afford to subsidize petroleum for Nigerians and that petroleum subsidy was not budgeted for in the review 2020 budget.
He noted that the apex government would, however, ensure that marketers in both the oil and electricity sector are regulated to not exceed the global acceptable standard in prices of both petroleum and electricity.