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By KAYODE OYERO
The Department of Petroleum Resources says the pump price of petrol in Nigeria may rise up to as much as N1000 per litre when the petrol subsidy regime comes to an end without an alternative energy source.
DPR Director, Sarki Auwalu, stated this while responding to questions and comments generated by a paper he delivered in Lagos, recently, at the Second Quarter, 2021 Business Dinner of Petroleum Club Lagos.
Responding to the subsidy concerns and the disparity in the petrol consumption figures given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the DPR, Auwalu acknowledged that Nigeria was spending so much on petrol subsidy.
He said eliminating it would require making alternative fuel available to Nigerians and that failure to do that could plunge Nigerians into paying higher petrol prices when subsidy is removed.
According to a statement on the DPR website on Monday titled, ‘DPR: Without Alternative Energy, Petrol Price Will Rise On Subsidy Removal’, Auwalu stated that Nigerians may pay as high as N1, 000 to buy one litre of petrol in the country when subsidy on petrol is removed and when the alternative energy or autogas gas policy becomes fully operational.
He, however, said the alternative fuel regime comes with initial cost as it will lead to spending $400 to convert one vehicles from running on petrol or diesel to running on either Liquefied Natural Gas or Compressed Natural Gas.
Auwalu maintained that converting eight million public vehicles currently present in Nigeria to gas-powered will cumulatively cost $3.2 billion to achieve.
He said, “So, to eliminate subsidy, they don’t call it subsidy anymore now, it’s under-recovery of purchase. So, to eliminate under-recovery, what you need is alternative fuel. Without an alternative, you will subject people to higher prices and that is why we go for price freedom.
“As at today, there are 22 million cars in Nigeria. Eight million are for public use. Imagine if you want to convert every car into gas, the average cost of conversion is $400. Converting eight million cars requires $3.2 billion. To do that, there are a lot of environmental investors which can invest and recover from the sale of gas and we are encouraging that.
“Once that is achieved, you will see that PMS can be sold at N1,000. After all, the average distance covered by one-gallon equivalent when you compare it with LNG or CNG with respect to energy for mobility is 2.7 against one. One for PMS, 2.7 for LNG or CNG.
”So, with that advantage, you will see that it creates an opportunity for this industry again. The issue of subsidy, the volume will all vanish and that is what we are working towards.” (Text, excluding headline, courtesy The PUNCH)