FG Has Nothing To Do With Increase In Price Of Petrol – Sylva

FILE: The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on January 24, 2022.

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says the Federal Government is not responsible for the increase in the price of petrol across the country.

According to Sylva, the government is still subsidising petrol.

Speaking at the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) stakeholders’ consultation forum on regulations, Sylva said the marketers are most likely to blame.

READ ALSO: Fuel Subsidy Is Estimated At N6.72tn For 2023 – Finance Minister

“I can tell you authoritatively that we have not deregulated,” he said.

“The government is still subsidising. If there are increases in price, it is not from the government. It is probably from the marketers.

“But I will talk to the authorities to actually regulate the price. But this is not from the government. We have not deregulated.”

While the official pump price of the product is pegged at N165 per litre, many filling stations have been selling for as high as N180.

Meanwhile, petrol subsidy claims continue to skyrocket.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, petrol subsidy claims reached N2.6 trillion in the first half of 2022, surpassing revenue generated from the sale of crude oil.

Sylva Blames Abuja Fuel Queues On Marketers, Absolves FG

File photo of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, on Wednesday, absolved the Federal Government of any blame for the fuel queues in the nation’s capital, saying that marketers are responsible.

Sylva, who addressed State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, said the NNPC is in very good supply of the product.

READ ALSO: Reps Summon Sylva, Kyari, Others Over Fuel Consumption Probe

 

“Frankly, it is not a supply issue, as you can also confirm. So it’s not from us. But you know When you have an arbitrage opportunity, people will tend to take advantage of it. These are some of the fallouts of the subsidy regime,” Sylva said.

“If you look at it, there are no queues when you leave Abuja, in most places, only in the Abuja, metropolis, you continue to have these queues. So is it that there is less applied to Abuja, than to the rest of the country? It is not so. It is because if you go out of Abuja, they can afford to probably sell at higher prices.

“And I’m sure a lot of you must be buying at higher prices, but within Abuja, because of the watchful eye of the federal government, they cannot sell at those prices. So it’s not a very attractive market for them. I think these are all things that we might have to be dealing with for a while until we’re able to fully deregulate.

“But that actually is a problem it’s not a supply problem, the country is well supplied as it is. NNPC has a very good supply. So it is not a problem for us, but it is the marketers. But we are engaging the marketers and will continue to engage them. In fact, before now NATO said, Oh, because diesel prices were now going up. And of course, you know that diesel  is deregulated already.”

Although he promised continued talks with them, the minister does not guarantee that the fuel queues will dissipate any time soon.

Reps Summon Sylva, Kyari, Others Over Fuel Consumption Probe

A photo combination of NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

 

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, Mele Kyari.

Channels Television gathered that the House Committee on Fuel Consumption is summoning the officials for being absent at the public hearing of the committee.

READ ALSO: Why Nigeria Can’t Remove Fuel Subsidies Now – Lai Mohammed

Also to appear before the lawmakers are the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Managing Director of the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mallam Isiyaku Abdullahi as well as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Peter Akpatason, represented the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the hearing.

He said the committee members were disappointed that such critical stakeholders would choose to be absent, considering how important it is to ascertain the daily consumption to see if it corresponds with the subsidy payments.

The Speaker also expressed his worry that their absence could be seen as an attempt to frustrate the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has explained why it cannot remove subsidies on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, at this time.

Minister of Communication and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who spoke during an exclusive interview with Reuters in London, said many other nations were introducing measures to help citizens cope with high oil energy prices, hence Africa’s most populous country could not be an exception.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil exporter but still has to import almost all its fuel needs due to a lack of refining capacity. The Federal Government shelved plans to abolish fuel subsidies earlier this year, a move that raised concerns with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

2023: Groups Present APC Presidential Forms To Ayade, Sylva

A photo combination of Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
A photo combination of Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.

 

Groups of supporters have presented the All Progressives Congress’ nomination and expression of interest forms to Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.

The duo become the latest APC members who have had the N100m forms purchased on their behalf by supporters.

Governor Ayade had in late April declared to run for President, saying he has received approval from President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Group Purchases APC Presidential Forms For Senate President Lawan

Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade speaks in Abuja on May 9, 2022, after accepting APC nomination and expression of interest forms.
Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade speaks in Abuja on May 9, 2022, after accepting APC nomination and expression of interest forms.

 

Speaking in Abuja on Monday while accepting the forms, Ayade said he has governed Cross Rivers well and can do the same for the entire country.

Minister Sylva, on the other hand, is yet to publicly signal his intention to run for President.

Cost of forms

The N100m cost of the APC presidential forms has attracted scrutiny from many Nigerians.

However, the relatively high cost has not slowed sales as the trend of supporters picking up the forms for their preferred candidates continue.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is one of the high-profile candidates in the race who have purchased the forms.

Others include APC Chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emeliefe.

National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, has said the revenues garnered from the sale of forms will help the party campaign effectively after it eventually settles for a candidate.

Adulterated Fuel: ‘There Will Be A Major Investigation,’ Says Petroleum Minister

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva addressed reporters in Abuja on August 17, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A file photo of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva addressing reporters in Abuja on August 17, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, says there will be a major investigation to unravel the cause of the unsafe quantity of methanol in petrol imported into the country.

He disclosed this on Wednesday during a media briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the State House.

Although the minister refused to disclose the identities of the companies involved, he said they will be made known after the investigations are concluded.

“There will be a major investigation to unravel everything. We need to get to the bottom of it before we can come back to tell you what will happen to the culprits,” the minister said.

READ ALSO: Adulterated Petrol Has Been Removed From The Market – Petroleum Marketers

When asked if companies found culpable will be blacklisted, Sylva responded that the government is not in a rush to mete out any measures until the actual cause has been decoded.

Speaking concerning Nigerians whose cars were damaged after buying the fuel, the former governor said their situation will be put into consideration.

“We know that some people’s vehicles must have been damaged; that is also going to the taken into consideration in dealing with the situation,” Sylvia explained.

His comments come hours after the Federal said it has identified and subsequently dealt with what may have caused panic buying of petrol in some parts of Lagos and Abuja.

Responding to the resurgence of fuel queues in Lagos and Abuja, the CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed said methanol quantity above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in a supply chain, which has since been isolated.

He explained that, while the quality control agencies of the government have swung into the action, NNPC Limited and oil marketers have been directed to ensure a robust supply of petroleum products.

Buhari Not In Support Of Fuel Subsidy Removal – Petroleum Minister

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on January 24, 2022.

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, says President Muhammadu Buhari is not in support of the removal of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.

Rather, he explained that the Federal Government planned to complete consultations before coming out with a clear policy direction on the matter.

“I will tell you categorically that at this moment, the complete removal of subsidy is not on our plate at all,” said Sylva during this week’s edition of Channels Television’s Newsnight.

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in support of removing subsidy at this time,” he said.

READ ALSO: FG To Make Transport Subsidy Payment Digitally For At Least Six Months

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had in November last year hinted that Nigeria would effect the complete removal of fuel subsidy in June 2022 and replace them with a N5000-a-month transportation grant to the poorest Nigerians.

Amid mixed reactions over the issue, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, last Tuesday said President Buhari never directed the removal of fuel subsidy.


NOTE: Watch Newsnight on Channels TV at 9pm on Monday.


Sylva, on his part, explained that the President’s position in opposing fuel subsidy was predicated on its effect on citizens at the bottom of the pyramid.

He also identified some of the options the authorities were considering regarding the issue.

“We are working out the processes,” said the minister. “Of course, we all know that it is a desirable policy direction. Of course, we know that it will have some impacts on the people and that is why we are trying to work out some of those things.

“Until those details are worked out properly with (the organised) labour, and with all the stakeholders in the sector, we will not remove the subsidy. At this moment, it is not on our plate, I can tell you that.

“This is something that needs to be worked out between the Federal Government and the states because this is a federation issue. We are working with the governors to see how we can continue with this policy direction of subsidising fuel for the foreseeable future.”

Fuel Subsidy: FG Considering Autogas As Alternative Petrol, Says Sylva

President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the National Gas Expansion Programme and National Autogas Roll-out Initiative on December 2, 2020.

 

The Federal Government is considering autogas as an alternative to the Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.

This is according to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, who stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight amid plans by the government to remove subsidy on petrol.

He explained that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Economic Council, is also leading an effort in collaboration with state governors to discuss the government’s plans to unveil palliatives to the people.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Two Officers, Abduct Policeman In Jigawa

“So we have to sit back together to now thinking about the process that can have the least effect on the people. That is why we are thinking of a lot of options like giving them an alternative fuel which will be cheaper and that is why we are looking at autogas,” the Minister said.

“We believe that will give an alternative so that if they find PMS too expensive, then they can have an alternative. Of course, we are looking at the impact it would have on their personal income and expenditure.

“The Vice President is also leading an effort, discussing palliatives to the people. All those are the things we are discussing. We need to bring everything together before we can now come out and say look this is the package we have and this is the policy direction towards subsidy removal.”

The Federal Government had in December 2022 rolled out an autogas programme called the National Gas Expansion Programme.

The programme involves the conversion of fuel-powered cars, generators from petrol to gas. It is aimed at deepening domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms.

After the launch, the government said that vehicle owners in the country will pay N250,000 to convert their cars to autogas.

Justice Derefaka, Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, had explained that vehicle owners will have different payment plans to covert their cars to autogas.

“The cost varies,” Derefaka said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. “So, in terms of cost implication, it depends on the cylinder of the vehicle and of course, for a typical SUV cylinder, it is a bit higher but on the average, it is around N200,000 to N250,000 and this is for a four-cylinder vehicle but it becomes a little bit higher for a six-cylinder SUV vehicle.”

Buhari Promises To Take Action On Cooking Gas Price Hike

Timipre Sylva

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is aware and concerned about the hike in the price of gas and is promising action to ameliorate the situation.

He said this while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with the President in his office where he presented CEOs of two new agencies: the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and the Nigerian Downstream and Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) at the statehouse.

Read Also: Terrorists Plotting To Establish Camp In Niger, Govt Raises Alarm

The minister explained that the government has no control of the prices and rather, it is the international market that primarily determines the price of the commodity.

Sylva, however, assured Nigerians that some elements of the pricing will be adjusted internally to enable a reduction, particularly in view of the Yuletide season.

Sylva Inaugurates Committee To Implement Petroleum Industry Act

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, speaks at the inauguration of the Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in Abuja on August 19, 2021.

 

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has inaugurated the Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.

The inauguration ceremony held on Thursday in Abuja, a day after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the constitution of the committee with a directive to immediately commence the implementation of the PIA.

“To get us started on this all-important assignment, I hereby inaugurate the Steering Committee, as well as the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat, and wish us all success in our collective quest to change the face of the Nigerian petroleum industry, to position it as a proactive catalyst for spurring sustainable economic growth of our beloved country,” the minister told members of the committee.

READ ALSO: NNPC Limited To Kick Off In Six Months – Sylva

“Given the timeline set by Mr President and the urgency of the implementation requirement, there is no gainsaying in the fact that total commitment to this assignment is a critical success factor.

“Undoubtedly, members of the steering committee possess the capacity to contribute to the transformation of the petroleum industry, and unlock the potentials that are replete in the entire value chain.”

Sylva urged the committee members to live up to their responsibility, saying a lot was expected of them from Nigerians and foreign stakeholders.

He stressed the need to do all that it takes to deliver on the assignment, in a manner that best achieves the collective vision for bringing the anticipated gains to the country.

According to the minister, the implementation working group/coordinating secretariat has the onerous task of developing the briefs that will be presented to the committee for consideration and approval.

He explained that the briefs would cover all the relevant subject matters contemplated by the law, including the design of the institutions, personnel movements, development of procedures and processes for the institutions, model contracts and regulations, and generally providing legal advice on implementation matters.

Sylva went on to reveal that the implementation working group/coordinating secretariat has been organised into four workstreams, to position the committee to get quality briefs.

He listed the workstreams to include legal, coordination and planning, communications and stakeholder management, as well as administration and finance.

“Each of these workstreams has distinct mandates and expected outcomes which will be presented to the steering committee for consideration and possible approval,” the minister said.

While approving the constitution of the committee, President Buhari had also directed that it has 12 months for the assignment.

He had decried that the lack of political will has hampered the growth of the industry, saying this has led to a loss of about $50 billion for the country in the last 10 years.

A lawyer, Olufemi Lijadu, is the External Legal Adviser, while the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group.

Other members include Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr Sani Gwarzo; and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

Others are Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami; President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Natural Resources, Dr Nuhu Habib; as well as representatives of the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

PIA: We Discussed With Labour Extensively, No Job Will Be Lost – Sylva

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva has assured that no job will be lost in the nation’s petroleum sector following the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday signed the bill, thus providing a legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.

Although there were fears in some quarters over the fate of workers in the petroleum sector, the minister says the move will instead create more jobs.

“We have already made provisions in the law to ensure that no job is lost in the oil industry as a result of the PIA,” the Minister said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

“So, no job will be lost as a result of the Petroleum Industry Act. All jobs in the petroleum industry will be intact.

“That was already taken into account, we discussed with labour extensively in the process of drafting the bill.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves Committee To Implement Petroleum Industry Act Immediately

When asked about the benefits for the oil workers, the Minister said he believes the workers have more to gain since the government does not pay as much as the private sector.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva addressed reporters in Abuja on August 17, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva addressed reporters in Abuja on August 17, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

While noting that the commercialisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be beneficial to the workers, Sylva explained that the move would not create any problem at all.

The Minister also reacted to funds accruable to the federation account by the national firm, noting that money will still be disbursed to the national account.

He, however, explained that NNPC will not be in charge of the federation crude, explaining that the Offstream Regulatory Commission will sell the crude and remit the money to the nation’s account.

Two days after the bill was signed, the President approved a committee to immediately commence the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The steering committee, which has 12 months for the assignment, is headed by the former Bayelsa State leader.

NNPC Limited To Kick Off In Six Months – Sylva

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will become a commercial company within six months, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva said on Tuesday.

This follows the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

Mr Sylva, who was speaking at a press conference in Abuja, said a transitional committee is already in place to incorporate NNPC Limited.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Signs Petroleum Industry Bill Into Law

All shares in NNPC Limited are expected to be vested in the government at incorporation and held by the Ministry of Finance.

Mr Sylva noted that although the new petroleum act has deregulated the oil sector, subsidy policies will remain in place till further notice.

He said an implementation framework for actual deregulation will be established to mitigate the impact on ordinary Nigerians.

Why Nigeria’s Economy Is ‘Broken’ – Timipre Sylva

A file photo of a food trader at a market in Akure, the Ondo State capital. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A file photo of a food trader at a market in Akure, the Ondo State capital. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has defended the handling of the nation’s economy by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

He was responding to questions about the economy and other issues during his appearance on Thursday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

While critics have accused the government of worsening the economy, Sylva put the blame on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led administration.

“What we inherited is like broken China (plate),” he said when asked about the state of the economy. “Somebody broke the China and arranged it very well on the table as if it was not broken.

“So, you came into the room, and you thought there was a China on the table and you tried to pick it up, and it just fell into pieces in your hands; who broke it, is it you or was it already broken?

“That was the kind of economy we inherited; we inherited an economy that was already broken. We tried to pick up the economy and it scattered in our hands.”

President Buhari won the 2015 presidential election on the strength of his campaign promises which bordered on fighting corruption, providing security, and improving the economy.

 

He has, however, been seriously criticised by individuals and groups – especially the opposition party – for the way the economy is being handled.

The criticism is triggered by the increase in the prices of food and other commodities, as well as the devaluation of the naira against the dollar, among others.

The present administration is, however, not bothered by the criticism, according to Sylva.

Instead, it will continue to step up efforts to better the lives of the people.

He is also confident that the ruling APC will be the party to beat in the general elections in 2023.

The minister is certain that Nigerians will vote for his party “over and over again”.