There are strong indications that petrol pump price per litre and may be hiked within the next two weeks as the Federal Government is considering a 20 percent adjustment in the cost of freighting petrol across the country.
The move, which is part of measures by the fiscal authorities to boost the revenue of transport owners, is expected to raise the cost of bridging petrol to N9.11 per litre, from N7.51 in the petrol pricing template of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
Giving the hint about the planned petrol bridging cost adjustment during the 21 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation (Management) Board (PEF) Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, said the agency was waiting for government’s final approval of the revised template before it would commence its implementation.
According to him, government is only waiting for labour unions’ feedback on the review which was among the agreements reached by the joint committee set by the government on the hike in the price of petrol and electricity.
Confirming the proposed template pricing regime, the Chief Financial Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Umar Ajiya, said the government considered the NARTO as strategic partner in the distribution of petrol and therefore would support them to sustain their operations.
He said: “The Executive Secretary of PEF made a statement that there is on-going engagement between the Federal Government and the labour, and at the end of that process government will make adequate pronouncement as to the effective date of that figure as contained in the pricing template.
“Without them there can be no effective distribution of petrol in Nigeria. They are the wheeling party who have collaborated with us to ensure that the whole nook and crannies of Nigeria are wet with petroleum products which is essential not only to transporting goods and services but also for us, moving from one place to the other”, Aliya added.
To ensure hitch-free distribution of petroleum products across the country, the corporation’s CFO urged the transport owners to make their tankers and drivers comply with the safety standards set by government regulators for the industry and by so doing, reduce the rate of accidents of petrol tankers on the highways.
Earlier in his remarks, the President of NARTO, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, appealed to the government to implement the new N9.11 freight rate in order to encourage the transport owners improve their services and welfare of their drivers and other workers.
He promised the labour union’s readiness to work to improve the safety of their truck and drivers.
The NARTO leader said: “With the promise of the increase in freight rate there will be more income that will allow more investments in the facilities and at the same time, our drivers will be happy because there is clamour from them to increase their package and allowances from now to next month.
“I believe if that freight cost is reviewed, we are going to assent to their clamour and things will be fine by the grace of God”, Othman stressed.