Fuel Subsidy Controversy: Mele Kyari Clarifies Government’s Stance

Fuel Subsidy Controversy: Mele Kyari Clarifies Government’s Stance

Mele Kyari Denies Fuel Subsidy Return

Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), has refuted claims that the Nigerian government has reinstated fuel subsidies.

This denial comes in response to recent allegations made by oil marketers and organized labor regarding the resurgence of fuel subsidy despite prior announcements of its removal.

Recap of President Bola Tinubu’s Statement

President Bola Tinubu had, during his May 29 inauguration, declared the end of the fuel subsidy regime, citing its absence in the 2023 budget.

This announcement had initially signaled the government’s resolve to eliminate the subsidy.

Contradictory Claims by Oil Marketers and Labor

Despite President Tinubu’s announcement, oil marketers and organized labor have alleged that the government reversed its stance and restored the subsidy.

They argue that the stability in fuel pump prices, despite market fluctuations, raises questions about the subsidy’s removal.

Mele Kyari’s Statement

After a meeting with President Tinubu, Mele Kyari addressed journalists at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He emphatically stated that there is currently no fuel subsidy in place, and the policy has not been reinstated.

Kyari explained that the NNPCL is recovering its full costs from the products it imports, eliminating the need for a subsidy.

NNPCL as Sole Importer of Petrol

In a related development, Mele Kyari disclosed that the NNPCL has become the sole importer of petrol in Nigeria.

He attributed this shift to challenges faced by private companies in accessing foreign exchange needed for petroleum product imports.

Foreign exchange shortage has limited private firms’ ability to import fuel.

Access to Foreign Exchange

Kyari clarified that the NNPCL has better access to foreign exchange due to its role in creating foreign exchange (FX).

In contrast, private companies encounter difficulties in obtaining FX, which has led to the NNPCL’s predominant role as the importer of petrol.

These statements from Mele Kyari aim to address the ongoing debate surrounding fuel subsidies and the importation of petroleum products in Nigeria.

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