Ex-petroleum minister, Odein Ajimogobia, calls for floating of fuel price to end scarcity

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A one-time Minister of Petroleum, Chief Odein Ajimogobia, has strongly advocated that the pump price of petroleum products in the country be made flexible or be allowed to float.

Chief Ajimogobia, who spoke with our correspondent at the Port Harcourt International Airport Omagwa during the week, said it was his solution on how to resolve the lingering fuel scarcity and its after effect in the country.

He said: “My solution to the unending fuel scarcity in this country is that we should let the pump price of petroleum products to float”.

According to the ex-minister, the pump price of the said petroleum products are directly derived from the price of the barrel of crude oil and that if the price of the crude oil comes down, that the price should be made to come down and vice visa.

“But unfortunately in Nigeria, when the pump price goes up, we the citizens do not get the advantage of paying a lower pump price”.

He observed that even when the pump price was under $30 per barrel, that Nigerians should have paid just N60 per liter but regretted that the fixed price regime makes it impossible for the desired flexibility operated in several places in the world.

On the removal of subsidy, Chief Ajimogobia explained that there was no way the subsidy could be removed because of the fixed pump price regime in Nigeria and that someone most pay the price. “The crux of the matter is that somebody must pay for the difference in the fixed price regime; more so, when the citizens do not want to pay more”.

According to him, subsidy should be given to those who need it and not those that have up to five luxury cars in their houses.

“The public transportation    should be subsidized to let you and me, the less privileged, get by public transportation at a subsidized rate and if this is not done and the cost of transportation continues to increase, the triple effect will continue to be felt by everyone that goes to the market and even cause inflation”.