From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva has assured Nigerians that the federal government would not hike the pump price of petrol in June to reflect current realities. Instead, he said the government would allow the current price band of N162-N165/litre to prevail across the country. Sylva in a statement released on Friday, said that the plan to retain the current pump price of petrol, despite the huge burden of under-recovery, was to give room for the ongoing engagement with organised labour to be concluded. “The current price of petrol will be retained in the month of June until the ongoing engagement with organised labour is concluded. This clarification becomes necessary in the light of recent reports regarding the resolution of the Nigeria Governors Forum to increase the pump price of petrol”, Sylva stated. The minister urged petroleum products marketers not to engage in any activities that could jeopardize the seamless supply and distribution system currently in place, even as he called on the public to avoid panic buying because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has enough stock of petroleum products to keep the nation wet.
Meanwhile, since the Nigerian Governors Forum agreed to hike the price of petrol to N308/litre, some independent marketers have begun hoarding the product as they claim to have suddenly run out of stock.