The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has defended the decision of the government to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N162 per liter.
He attributed the latest increase of pump price to the global price of crude oil, saying the ‘angry reactions’ that have greeted the latest petrol price were “unnecessary and totally mischievous”.
Mohammed made the remarks on Monday at a press conference in Abuja on the recent increases in petrol price and electricity tariff.
He explained that with the price of crude creeping up, petrol price was equally bound to increase, hence the latest price of N162 per liter.
He however explained that if the price of crude drops again, the price of petrol will also drop and the benefits will also be passed on to the consumers.
He stressed that despite the recent increase in the price of petrol,that of Nigeria has remained the lowest in the West and Central African sub-regions.
According to Mohammed, petrol is being sold for N211 per liter and N168 per liter in Egypt and Saudi Arabia respectively.On the spike in electricity tariff, he described the increase as a service-based adjustment by the Distribution Companies (DISCOS).
The minister stated that due to the problems with the largely-privatized electricity industry, the Federal Government has been supporting the sector.
He said while the government has so far spent almost N1.7 trillion, especially by way of supplementing tariffs shortfalls and does not have the resources to continue, borrowing to subsidize generation and distribution which have been privatized would be grossly irresponsible and unsustainable