Timipre Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources, says the federal government is working on a transition from petrol and diesel-powered vehicles to gas-powered vehicles.
This transition, he said, is necessary so that focus will be shifted from petrol to gas so that the subsidy currently being paid on petrol will be removed.
“Definitely we believe that subsidy is something that is really draining the purse of the country, but right now, it is really not the best time for us to look at the removal of subsidy, because it is going to put a lot of burden on the common man,” he told ARISE TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“We have found a way around it. We are trying to see how we can introduce a transitional fuel.
“I mean, we want to move a lot of vehicles on Nigerian roads to gas, so that after a while people will not really bother so much about PMS, and then we can take out subsidy on PMS.”
Speaking on the petroleum industry bill, the minister said the executive is working with the legislative arm to ensure that the bill is passed by the middle of the year.
“We believe that by the middle of this year, the PIB will be passed. You know, the government today shares a good relationship with the legislature, we are working together, we are on the same page and there is a consensus that this bill needs to be passed now,” he explained.
“In the PIB law, NNPC will be incorporated and the joint ventures (JVs) will also be incorporated so that they can go out there and get funds through their activities. It is not necessarily going to be privatised in a way people are looking at it, but it is going to be incorporated.”
The senate, under the leadership of Bukola Saraki, had passed the petroleum industry governance bill which is a section of the PIB.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign the bill into law citing constitutional reasons.