The federal government, on Monday night, succumbed to the pressure from organised labour and reduced present price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as Petrol, by N5.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who announced this to journalists after a meeting with leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), which held at Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, said the reduction would be from N168 to N162.44 per litre with effect from December 14.
The meeting, which started at 8:55pm Monday lasted till Tuesday morning at 1:27am.
Daily Trust reports that the product is presently sold at N168, following the decision of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company to increase the ex-depot price of petrol from N147.67 per litre to N155.17 per litre in November.
The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the PPMC to marketers at the depots.
According to Ngige, a technical committee has been set up to ensure price stability in the industry, noting that the committee, which will report back to the larger house on January 25, will appraise the market forces and other things that would ensure stability in the industry.
“Our discussion was fruitful and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which is the major importer and marketers of petroleum products, and customers have agreed that there will be a slide down of the pump price of PMS and that the price cut will get us about N5 per litre and that the price cut will take effect from next Monday, a week today,” Ngige told journalists.
The minister explained that the price reduction was not meant to suspend deregulation because it did not affect the price of crude oil but on areas where the NNPC as the main importer had agreed that it could cut cost like freight and demurrage costs.
He argued that the reduction of new price was a product of a joint committee of NNPC and labour representatives which looked into ways of cutting costs.
The Labour minister also told journalists both sides agreed to wait till the next meeting date on January 25 to enable the special committee dealing with complaints to conclude their deliberations on electricity tariff.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, also corroborated the position of the minister, saying that the agreement was reached by both sides.