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World Bank hints at ‘partial return’ of subsidy in Nigeria, says petrol should cost N750/litre

World Bank hints at ‘partial return’ of subsidy in Nigeria, says petrol should cost N750/litre
December 13
15:19 2023

The World Bank says Nigeria’s petrol should be priced at N750 per litre at the pumps.

Alex Sienaert, the bank’s lead economist for Nigeria, made this known during his presentation of the Nigeria development update report, the December 2023 edition.

The report, titled, ‘Turning The Corner (From Reforms and Renewed Hope to Results)” was presented on Wednesday in Abuja.

Based on today’s official exchange rate, according to Sienaert, the product should sell for around N750 per litre and not the N650 currently being paid by Nigerians.

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He said the current petrol prices are not fully cost-reflective, which signals “the partial return of the subsidy”.

“It does seem like petrol prices are not fully adjusting to market conditions so that hints at the partial return of the subsidy, if we estimate what is the cost reflective of retail PMS price of the would-be and assuming that importation is done at the official FX rate,” he said.

“Of course, the liberalisation is happening with the parallel rates, which is the main supplier, the price would be even higher. These are just estimates to give you a sense of what cost-reflective pricing most likely looks like.

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“We think the price of petrol should be around N750 per litre more than the N650 per litre currently paid by Nigerians.”

Sienaert said the bank is recommending that Nigeria’s government should take additional steps to safeguard the benefits of its bold reforms.

Since the federal government announced the removal of the petrol subsidy, concerns had been raised over the lack of correlation between pump prices in the country and the international crude oil price, as well as the exchange rates.

Festus Osifo, the national president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said the federal government is still paying subsidies on petrol.

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However, the federal government denied reintroducing the subsidy payments.

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