Timipre Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum Resources, has stated that the Federal Government could not intervene in the increasing price of diesel and aviation fuel because the prices for both goods are deregulated.
This was made known by Sylva at a media briefing in Abuja, on Monday.
He added that the foreign exchange rate had an impact on the prices of both imported products.
“So, it is not within the purview of the government to fix the prices at all. And of course, the actual issue is also the foreign exchange. People cannot access foreign exchange to import this. For the time being, NNPC has been the main importer of this product but what we are trying to do is to democratise the importation so that the aviation fuel users themselves should be able to access foreign exchange and be able to import this product.
“It’s not a supply issue at all. It’s just a global problem. You know that the problem in Ukraine and Russia has actually exacerbated the rise in prices; it is not in Nigeria alone. The high cost of diesel is also because of the same reason and these are not subsidised commodities, they are deregulated commodities so actually, it is not within the purview of the government to intervene in the price,” Sylva said.
This is coming against the backdrop of a shutdown by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), which has led to fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.
The body explained that the decision of some of its members to shut down their operations was because they no longer want to operate at a loss or under hostile conditions.