Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, on Monday, explained the recent increment in the pump price of petrol from between N158 and N162 per litre to N168 and N170.
Sylva also said that kerosene and diesel were even more important to the ordinary Nigerians than petrol, which he claimed was mostly used by the elite.
He stated this while speaking to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday after his regular briefing of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sylva said: “Look at it, a situation where diesel has been deregulated long ago, a situation where kerosene has been deregulated long ago, and these are the fuels the poorest people in Nigeria interact with more. Why do I say that?
“If you want to transport food from the north to the south, it’ll be by trucks that are run by diesel, not with petrol. Those trucks that transport food from the north to the south are usually run by diesel.
“Kerosene is the preferred fuel at the lowest level of our society. These have been deregulated long ago. So, what’s the problem with deregulation of petrol, which is mostly used by the elite?
“Let us be fair to this country, let us be fair to the poor people in this country.
“If we’ve deregulated what they were using, then there’s actually no reason why we should continue to subsidise petrol. I feel so. That’s my personal feeling.”