Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has revealed the only way Nigeria’s economy can move forward.
According to Sylva, Nigeria needs to deregulate the downstream sector through market-driven pricing of products to boost its economy.
Sylva disclosed this when he featured at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja on Sunday.
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He said, “I’ll say that my stand on fuel subsidy and deregulation is well known. I strongly believe that for this country to move forward, for our economy to make the progress it desires, we need to have a market-driven pricing of products.
“A situation where you produce something at a certain cost and you have to sell it at a lower cost to people because you’re taking some of that burden off the people isn’t the best.
“It’s a very desirable thing, but it’s also not too sustainable because what happens is that you produce it for N10, you sell it for N5; tomorrow, you produce it again at N10, you add N5 from somewhere, produce it again at N10 and sell it for another N5.
“So, the losses increase and compound on a daily basis and those accumulated losses have brought us to where we are.”
The minister noted that subsidy was part of the things that made the refineries stop operating in the country.
He added, “Part of the reasons why the refineries were not working is subsidy because a refinery that is producing something at a certain cost and selling at a loss, how can it sustain itself.
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“Over the years, the refineries could not sustain themselves and all of them died. So, if you don’t deregulate, you will find out that even the refineries, if you fix them today, cannot be commercially operated because the refineries need maintenance and they need to run.
“If you are producing something and they are selling at a certain subsidised price, it cannot work. That is why you see that the sector is not growing at all.”
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