By Abba Gwale
Federal Government has announced the reduction of the price of petrol, from N168 to N162.44 per litre with effect from December 14.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this at the end of a meeting with labour leaders which began around 9 pm on Monday and ended at 1:30 am on Tuesday.
The product presently dispenses at N168, following the decision of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company to increase the ex-depot price of petrol from N147.67 per litre to N155.17 per litre in November.
The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the PPMC to marketers at the depots.
The minister said a technical committee has been set up to ensure price stability in the industry.
Ngige stated that the committee, which will report back to the larger house on January 25, will appraise the market forces and other things that would ensure stability in the industry.
The minister said, “Our discussion was fruitful and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation which is the major importer and marketers of petroleum products and customers have agreed that there will be a slide down of the pump price of PMS and that the price cut will get us about N5 per litre and that the price cut will take effect from next Monday, a week today.”
Ngige also explained that the price reduction was not meant to suspend deregulation because it did not affect the price of crude oil but on areas where the NNPC as the main importer had agreed that it could cut costs like freight and demurrage costs.
He said the new price slash was a product of a joint committee of NNPC and labour representatives, which looked into ways of cutting the costs.
On the issue of electricity tariff, both sides agreed to wait till the next meeting date on January 25 to enable the special committee dealing with complaints to conclude their deliberations.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, collaborated the position of the minister, saying that the agreement was reached by both sides.