By Adedapo Adesanya
**As Nigeria Says Goodbye to Fuel Subsidy
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, has disclosed that nothing can ever make price of crude oil to below $20 per barrel at the international market.
According to him, the latest positive developments support his argument, saying he was very confident that prices will stay above.
Speaking on Monday during an interview on Moneyline, a programme aired by Africa Independent Television (AIT) and hosted by Nancy Illoh, Mr Kyari stated that, “The key issue in crude oil business is market fundamentals of demand and supply. I believe COVID-19 will subside and countries will come back to life.
“I don’t see oil price going below the $20 we saw last week. I’m certain, all things being equal, oil price will bounce back.”
He also used the occasion to state that the recent plunge in the price of the commodity forced government to end subsidy regime in the sector.
“As at today, subsidy/under-recovery is zero. Going forward, there will be no resort to either subsidy or under-recovery of any nature.
“NNPC will just be another player in the market space. But we will be there for the country to sustain security of supply at the cost of the market,” he said.
The NNPC boss added that there was enough supply of petrol during the period and kicked against the possibility of a scarcity.
“Today, we have a very robust products supply and distribution from the loading depots up to fuel stations nationwide.
“We also have very good understanding with our strategic partners: the governors, marketers, depot owners, Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD). There are no issues whatsoever,” Mr Kyari said.
He further noted that Nigeria could ramp its production up to about 3 million barrels per day, looking at current production level which went up recently following the expiration of the OPEC+ deal in March.
“As at yesterday (Sunday), our production has, for the first time in many years, risen to 2.3 million barrels per day. We believe this will grow and the contribution of local companies in this regard will be meaningful,” he added.
On Thursday, Nigeria will join other oil producers to discuss way forward for the oil market in a meeting set up the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), past allies and some other independent oil producing nations to weigh the possibility of reducing global oil supply by more than 10 percent.
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