Timipre SylvaThe Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has justified the hike in the pump price of petrol from between N158 and N162 per litre, to N168 and N170, saying that there is no reason for people to complain since fuel is mostly consumed by the elite in the country.
Sylva said this on Monday, November 16, while addressing State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The Minister stated that “kerosene and diesel were even more important to ordinary Nigerians than petrol which is mostly used by the elite.”
“Look at it, a situation where diesel has been deregulated long ago, a situation where kerosene has been deregulated long ago, and these are the fuels the poorest people in Nigeria interact with more. Why do I say that?” Sylva began.
Continuing further, he said:
“If you want to transport food from the north to the south, it’ll be by trucks that are run by diesel, not with petrol. Those trucks that transport food from the north to the south are usually run by diesel.
“Kerosene is the preferred fuel at the lowest level of our society. These have been deregulated long ago. So, what’s the problem with deregulation of petrol, which is mostly used by the elite?
“Let us be fair to this country; let us be fair to the poor people in this country. If we had deregulated what they were using, then there’s actually no reason why we should continue to subsidise petrol. I feel so. That’s my personal feeling.”