Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva ahs announced that the Petroleum sector will be fully deregulated by the end of the year.
He spoke amid the controversy over whether a new price template of N206 per litre from N162 – N163 for March is about to be introduced.
The minister was speaking at the University of Ibadan during the opening of the 56th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS).
Sylva said: “We have been talking about deregulation for decades. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded. We have succeeded in deregulating some products.
“Kerosene has been fully deregulated; diesel has been fully deregulated. But deregulation of PMS (petrol) has continued to elude us. We expect that this year, we will be able to achieve that.
There were indications yesterday that the Federal Government, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress will meet for talks after the Easter break.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the government had not tabled any pump price before the Labour, contrary to the claim that the government proposed a pump price of about N202 per litre to N206 per litre, which Labour rejected by insisting on N168 per litre.
It was learnt that the last time the two sides met, it was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, who presented some market indices to Labour.
Kyari was said to have put the landing cost at N202 per litre confirming speculations that the fuel price increase was inevitable.
A labour source said: “We are standing by our position that there is no need for fuel price increase. But the government and Labour will resume talks immediately after the Easter break.
“We want the pump price to be N168 per litre. We were able to prove our point about three weeks ago when we suggested alternatives to the government team, which was led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.