Nigeria Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said the current regime of deregulation was to allow full participation of private sectors operators in the importation and subsequent refining of the petroleum products in the near future.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, the vice president also expressed the government’s determination to drastically reduce the regime of importation of refined petroleum products by 70 per cent in 2018.
The explanation is coming against the backdrop of the impending nationwide strike being planned by the organised labour in collaboration with the civil societies organisations.
The VP said he had listened and read various observations about the fuel-pricing regime since it started, and the attendant issues generated and admitted that all certainly have strong points. According to the vice president, the real issue was not a removal of subsidy, noting that at $40 per barrel there is not much of a subsidy to remove. He said most important issue of course is how to shield the poor from the worst effects of the policy. Osinbajo described President Muhammadu Buhari as probably one of the most convinced pro-subsidy advocates, noting that the local consumption of fuel in the country is almost entirely imported.