The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says in spite of the rise in the price of crude oil in the international market, it has ruled out any increment in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol in the month of February.
It would be recalled that some fuel marketers during the week adjusted their pump price above the N162 per litre following supply shortage of the product in depots around Lagos.
It was also gathered that many private depots in Apapa, Lagos, from where many marketers get petroleum products for distribution to other states, were running dry of petrol due to supply shortage.
However, in a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateruon, on Thursday in Abuja, he ruled out any increment.
Obateru in the statement explained that the decision was to allow ongoing engagements with organised labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that would not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.
While giving assurances that the corporation had enough stockpile of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for about 40 days, he urged petroleum products marketers not to engage in the hoarding of PMS in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.
Obateru also 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.
It can be recalled that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had in March 2020 announced the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry and the subsequent removal of the petrol subsidy.
He said that subsequently, the prices of petroleum products would be determined by prevailing market forces.
With the increase in the oil price to about $65 per barrel, oil marketers and other stakeholders have insisted that the current petrol price is not sustainable unless the Federal Government would return back to the subsidy regime, which has no provision in the 2021 budget.
The ex-depot price is the price at which oil marketers buy products from the depot and the price determines the price at which they sell to motorists at their various petrol stations.
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