Fuel price is on the negotiating table. It is becoming obvious that the 145-naira you pay for a litre of fuel is no longer sustainable.

A committee of the National Economic Council, NEC, which advises the government, has been in talks with officials at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC “with a view to determining the correct price for fuel”.

According to Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, the NEC committee and NNPC would look at fuel prices while considering the price in neighbouring countries because price differences encourage smuggling out of Nigeria.

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The idea is that the relatively cheaper cost of Nigerian fuel combined with crude oil price rises in the last few months mean that smugglers can make more money selling fuel intended for the Nigerian market across borders, creating shortages in Nigeria.

The price of fuel is a highly charged subject in Nigeria, especially with a general election barely a year from now.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 raised the fuel price to 145-naira per litre, a 67% hike, but did not remove a cap for fear of hurting people with a low income.

Now, the price cap makes it tough for many importers to profit from fuel business and NNPC has imported as much as 90% of the nation’s fuel needs over the past year but has been unable to end fuel shortage which has gripped much of the country in the last few months.

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