NNPC dismiss reports on petrol price hike as PDP cautions

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has debunked an alleged plan to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol from the official N145 per litre.

The national oil company had rated the N145 pump price as cheapest in West Africa, prompting anxiety of an imminent hike.But the corporation in a statement yesterday in Abuja clarified that the remarks by its Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari at the National Assembly, never meant any intention to increase the price of the white product. NNPC therefore advised motorists and consumers to disregard the planned increase.

It maintained that the GMD only posited that the price of petrol was abysmally low in Nigeria compared to what obtained in neighbouring West African countries. Kyari had observed at the event that the huge disparity in pump price of petrol between Nigeria and its neighbours tended to encourage cross-border leakages, as he sought the support of the leadership of the federal legislature to curb the menace of smuggling.

He advised Nigerians to disregard the insinuation, stating that statutorily, NNPC was not even in a position to regulate the price of petroleum products.

The GMD said the role of the corporation as an operator must be differentiated from that of the industry’s regulator.As directed by relevant agencies of government, he reiterated that the pump price of the product remained N145 per litre. The organisation cautioned petroleum marketers against selling above the official price in the wake of the peddled falsehood.

It further urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and law enforcement agencies on erring filling stations, dispensing centres and marketers nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has told the presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to perish any contemplation of increasing the pump price from the already “excruciating N145 per
litre.”

In a statement yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP stated that its position was predicated on “our unwavering stand that any increase in fuel price will result in upsurge in cost of goods and services and worsen the biting hardship being faced by Nigerians.”

The main opposition party noted that, “at a time like this, rather than musing an increase in the price of such an essential commodity, a responsive leadership ought to be engaging stakeholders and seeking ways to achieve a reduction in the interest of the people.”

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