The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday announced that there was no plan to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.
It stated that it had a robust supply arrangement to guarantee sustainable supply of the product over a long period of time.
In a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Garba-Deen Muhammad, the corporation said, “Reference to the unsustainability of N145 per litre of petrol only relates to a possible spike in international market prices of petroleum products. This has been mitigated by the NNPC’s long- term procurement contract plan that guarantees stable pricing.”
The Group Managing Director, Crude Oil Marketing, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, had on Monday stated that the sale of petrol at N145 per litre was no longer sustainable at the current exchange rate of the naira to the dollar.
“We have a very difficult business environment. It is impossible today to import products at the current market price and at the current fixed foreign exchange rate,” Kyari said in Lagos.
But the corporation promised to sustain the tempo of petroleum products supply across the country in the last three months of the year and beyond at the current rate of N145 per litre.
The NNPC added 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 the pump price increase or shortage of products,” it said.
Providing further explanation on the matter, Muhammad told journalists in Abuja that if there was going to be any increase in the PMS pump price, “the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency will definitely sensitise Nigerians to it and give reasons for it.”
He added, “As of this moment, there is absolutely no plan to do that and no need for that because we have more than enough supply. In addition to that, we also have long-term procurement contracts with our suppliers.
“The statement that people are referring to was made within the context of a technical explanation, not within the context of downstream operations. A new window to make forex available for marketers for their importation needs have been opened and they are satisfied with it.”
Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress has warned the Federal Government against any move to increase the pump price of petrol.
The President and Acting Secretary General, TUC, Bala Kaigama and Simeso Amachree, said that any increase in the price of fuel now would be an invitation to a revolution in the country.
They said that the TUC would not tolerate any further imposition of hardship on the already agonising Nigerian populace.
The unionists also described the statement by Kyari that “the nation’s difficult business environment may make it difficult to sustain the current pump price of petrol” as insensitive.
The duo said further that the statement confirmed the earlier fears of Nigerians about a surreptitious move to increase the pump price of petrol.
They wondered why the management of the NNPC would make contradictory statements on a sensitive issue affecting the entire citizens of the country.