…Denies plan to increase petrol price
By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said it has no plans to increase the pump price of petrol from N145 per litre, neither was it contemplating a return to subsidising fuel.
The rebuttal is coming on the heels of a statement credited to the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, that the sale of petrol at N145 was no longer feasible at the current exchange rate.
In a swift reaction yesterday, the NNPC, through its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Garba-Deen Muhammed, said reference of unsustainability of N145 per litre of petrol only relates to possible spike in international market price of petroleum products.
“This has been mitigated by NNPC’s long-term procurement contract plan that guarantees stable pricing.”
Muhammed further stated that it had a robust supply arrangement that can guarantee sustainable supply over a long period of time.
Kyari, on Monday reportedly said that the sale of petrol at N145 per litre was no longer sustainable with the current foreign exchange.
“We have a very difficult business environment. It is impossible today to import products at the current market price, current fixed foreign exchange,” Kyari reportedly said in Lagos.
The corporation, however, promised to sustain the tempo of petroleum products supply throughout the ember months and beyond across the country at the current rate of N145 per litre.
The state oil firm assured that it had resolved all issues that had to do with foreign exchange stability in order to ensure fuel price stability and distribution.
“Nigerians should not engage in panic buying, as there is no cause for alarm with respect to pump price increase or shortage of products,” it said.
Muhammed explained further that if there was going to be any increase in PMS price, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) would definitely sensitise Nigerians on it and give reasons for it.
“The statement people are referring to was made within the context of technical explanation, not within the context of downstream operations. A new window to make forex available for marketers for their import needs have been opened and they are satisfied with it,” he said.
Muhammad disclosed that there was already PMS glut in the market, as a lot of products were on ground waiting for off-takers, stressing that there was no payment of petrol subsidy by the government on petrol.