The cost of a litre of petrol is 145 Naira, but the House of Representatives thinks the current cost does not reflect the true nature of things.

It wants the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries to make public the true cost of imported petrol.

The House's Ad hoc Committee on Review of Pump Price of Petrol, is making the demand.

The Chairman of the Committee, Raphael Igbokwe, gave the directive in Lagos on Saturday.

Igbokwe spoke on the side lines of the committee’s visit to Lagos depots of some private operators involved in transportation and distribution of petrol from the ports to the consumers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the depots visited by the committee were Folawiyo Energy Limited, WOSBAB Energy Solutions, First Royal and Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited.

According to Mr Igbokwe, the NNPC and its subsidiaries source 90% of petrol while private marketers source only 10% of the product into Nigeria.

He said: “The reason for our curiosity and unannounced visit to some depots is that our investigation shows that importation of petrol is no longer profitable to the private marketers and dealers.

“The issue is how come that only the government agencies are engaging in the importation and supply of petrol.

“This will make us to compel them to open their (NNPC and subsidiaries) books for Nigerians to know the true cost of importation of petrol”.

The lawmaker said that the committee which he heads had received an authentic information from a reliable source that the price of petrol was around 230 Naira to 250 Naira per litre in neighbouring countries.

The chairman of the committee said that they would investigate further to find out from neighbouring countries and refineries the cost of petrol per litre.

Igbokwe noted that the official landing cost of petrol was about 130 Naira to 135 Naira per litre, but expressed fears that information available to the committee showed that the landing cost of petrol was higher than the 145 Naira official rate fixed by government.

Will this findings and further investigations lead to an increase in the price of petrol at a period of recession? Can Nigeria's unchanged salary bear further burden on it?