Petrol Still N145/Litre, No More Subsidy—NNPC Insists
By Ebitonye Akpodigha
Following reactions that trailed comments made by a top official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, that the present pump price of fuel at N145 per litre was no longer sustainable, the corporation has made clarification concerning the issue.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr Garba Deen Muhammad, said the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, has not been increased.
Mr Muhammad said, “For this moment, there is absolutely no plan and no need to do that (increase fuel price) because we have more than enough supply, very robust stock and long-term procurement contract with our suppliers.
“We have enough supply to last us throughout the ember months and beyond,” he told newsmen at the briefing.
At an Oil Trading and Logistics Expo in Lagos, Mr Kyari, who is the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing at NNPC, had said government was still subsidizing the product for Nigerians to buy at the current pump price.
But Mr Muhammad, during Tuesday media briefing, said Mr Kyari was quoted out of context.
“Regardless of what was said, the bottom line is that there is absolutely no plan whatsoever that government will increase pump price of petrol.
“If there is going to be anything like that, the agency for fixing pump price of petrol will definitely sensitize Nigerians and give reasons why.
“So, the reported statement was made within the context of technical explanation not within the context of downstream operations,” he emphasised.
Reacting to the issue of subsidy raised by Mr Kyari, Mr Muhammad said, “No, there is no subsidy.”
Mr Kyari’s comment had caused panic among Nigerians, which resulted into queues gradually returning to filling stations in some parts of the country.
But Muhammad has allayed the fears of motorists, saying, “I’m telling Nigerians to relax, drive with care, enjoy their vehicles, enjoy their movement and travels because no plan to increase fuel price.”