Legal Nigeria

Petrol Price: NNPC Douses Tension, Says No Increase Now

•Declares it has no intention of pre-empting ongoing engagement with labour

Peter Uzoh

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would maintain its current ex-depot price of petrol until the conclusion of an ongoing engagement with the organised labour and other stakeholders.

Speaking to reporters yesterday in Abuja, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said the corporation, at the moment, was bearing the burden of importing refined petroleum products, as the supplier of last resort, to guarantee energy security for the nation.

This development comes after NNPC’s Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari said the corporation could no longer bear subsidy in its books.

Shedding more light on the remarks by Kyari at the State House, Obateru stated that the NNPC had no intention to pre-empt ongoing engagement with labour by unilaterally increasing the ex-depot price of petrol.

He said as a proactive organisation, NNPC had made arrangements for robust stock of petroleum products in all its strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied at all times.

Obateru advised petroleum products marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol to avoid disrupting the market.

He also urged motorists not to engage in panic buying, stressing that NNPC was committed to ensuring energy security for the country as the supplier of last resort.

The national oil company’s spokesman assured marketers and all other relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector of sustainable collaboration in the public interest.

Speaking during a ministerial briefing on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Kyari said NNPC could no longer bear the burden of under-priced sales of premium motor spirit (PMS), better known as petrol, adding that the market price need to be implemented.

He said NNPC was paying between N100 and N120 billion a month to keep the pump price at the current levels.

“The price could have been anywhere between N211 and N234 to the litre. The meaning of this is that consumers are not paying for the full value of the PMS that we are consuming and therefore someone is paying that cost,” he had said.

“As we speak today, the difference is being carried in the books of NNPC and I can confirm to you that NNPC may no longer be in a position to carry that burden.”