The recent upwards increase in petrol pump price, from N158 to N168, has been attributed to the announcement of a possibility of having a vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic soon.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed this while addressing State House Correspondents on Monday, after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari in his office at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Minister also assured that Nigerians would get used to the deregulation of the pump price petrol just as they have become the case of kerosene and diesel.
According to him, diesel and kerosene are even more important to the ordinary citizens than petrol, which he said is mostly used by the elite.
He explained that trucks that move food produce from one part of the country to another use diesel while kerosene also used by most of the Nigerian masses has since been deregulated.
He said: “Look at it, a situation where diesel has been deregulated long ago, a situation where kerosene has been deregulated long ago, and these are what the poorest people in Nigeria interact with more. Why do I say that?
“If you want to transport food from the north to the south, it will 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 is the problem with deregulating 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 have deregulated what they were using, then there is actually no reason why we should continue to subsidize petrol. I feel so. That’s my personal feeling.”