As anxiety grows over hike in the price of fuel, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday night dismissed any rumour about any increase in the pump price of petrol in the month of March.
The Corporation’s new stand is contrary to the expectation of a possible price hike in the month following the rising price of crude oil in the international market and the subsequent warning by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva that NNPC could not continue to absolve the extra cost in the pump price of petrol.
In anticipation of the price hike, motorists have flocked round petrol stations in Abuja and its environs leading to long queues.
But the NNPC in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru said it is not “contemplating any raise in the price of petrol in March in order not to jeopardize ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship”.
The statement read: “Contrary to speculations of imminent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has ruled out any increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March, 2021”.
Dr. Obateru also cautioned petroleum products, marketers, not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.
The Corporation stated that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying. It further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.