Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Timipre Sylva has attributed hike in pump price of petrol to breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer.
He said the announcement of the breakthrough led to slight increase of the product at the international level, which led to the adjustment of fuel price in Nigeria.
Sylva, who spoke in Abuja shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, said what happened recently was because of the announcement of a vaccine for COVID-19 by Pfizer.
He said with that, crude oil prices went up a little bit, which necessitated adjustment.
Sylva stated that “if you have been following crude oil prices, you would have seen that crude oil prices went up a little bit as a result of this announcement.
“So, when crude oil prices go up a little bit, then you will see that (it will) instantly reflect on the price of petrol, which is a derivative of crude oil.”
He explained that the prices of crude oil is determined by the force of demand and supply at the international level.
Sylva said since the nation had deregulated the downstream sector, the international prices of crude oil now determined how much the product would be sold locally in Nigeria.
“When the price of crude oil goes up, then it means that the price of the fixed stock has gone higher; it will also affect the price of the refined product and that is why you see that product prices are usually not static, it depends on the price of crude oil which goes up and down.
“That is why we say, deregulate so that as the price goes up or down, you begin to go up and down as well at the pump. Before now, we fixed it – which was not optimal for us as a country,” he explained.