The federal government will deregulate the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry in the near future, according to the Premium Times.
Nigerians may have to brace up for a minimum of 27.17% hike in fuel price nationwide, the officials said.
The policy, they say, is likely to push the pump price of petrol to about N110 per litre at NNPC-owned filling stations and higher at other independent outlets.
Amid fears of a possible backlash reminiscent of the reaction by Nigerians in January 2012 when former President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to introduce a similar measure, no formal announcement will be made.
The fuel scarcity crisis has forced Nigerians into desperate measures
Industry sources familiar with the plan said government was on the verge of discreetly giving permission to petroleum products marketers to gradually adjust their pump prices as early as midweek to signal the formal take-off of deregulation in the country.
The sources, who asked not to be named, said the government resorted to that drastic decision to end the vicious cycle of fuel scarcity crises and avoid subsidy payments.
Unlike the situation in 2012, the sources said government appeared to have successfully wooed organised labour and affiliated unions to its side.
The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, said he could confirm nothing about the issue.
Insiders well briefed on the matter said top level secret meetings had been going on all week to weigh the security implications of the possible fallouts of the policy.
One of the meetings was held at the headquarters of the State Security Service in Abuja where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, met with heads of security agencies to finetune possible security response should Nigerians pour into the streets to protest the policy.