Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has said the Nigerian Government had no money to continue with petrol subsidy as earnings had dropped by 60%.
Sylva said revealing this detail was how the government was able to convinced Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, to accept the new petrol pump price.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, Sylva pointing out that all well-meaning Nigerians agree with Nigerian Government’s position on the need for the hike in pump price to subsist.
However, while answering a question on how some Nigerians felt disappointed that the new pump price remained, Sylva said: “I am sorry that some people are disappointed. But in the end, it is about Nigeria and not about those people.
“What was the interest of such people to see the country go up in flames? But I applaud the labour leaders who put Nigeria first on that negotiation table.
“First, we had to be very truthful about the situation in the country, and globally. Government could no longer go on with subsidy because there simply was no money.
“If your earnings have dropped by 60%, then you have to do something about it. We showed them everything and they saw with us that it was not possible for us to continue.
“The alternative was to go back to subsidy and have scarcity. If the product is imported at a certain price and sold at a loss, it means somebody was bearing that difference. It was becoming unbearable to us.
“Price and production went down: we are producing half of what we used to produce and selling at less the price.
“Labour saw the truthfulness on the part of govt. It was a very painful decision. But there was no alternative. So we have to bite the bullet as a country.”