FG denies plans to increase fuel price

NNPC-mega-station-in-Katsina-e1452690603465-640x360Marketers yesterday, told Nigerians to hold the CBN, the banker to the government, responsible for the scarcity of petroleum products as the apex bank has refused to make dollar available at the fixed rate of N305 to $1.

Oil marketers have refused to resume the importation of petroleum products, particularly petrol, until the Federal Government can guarantee them access to dollars at the official exchange rate fixed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). But the government has said that the action of the marketers has not led to an increase in the price of petrol.
The refusal of the marketers to import petroleum products – petrol, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuel – is the reason the country cannot exit the protracted energy crisis, where even cooking gas, firewood and coal are already out of the reach of Nigerians due to very high demand and cost.
There is no succour even from electricity supply to power homes and offices due to gas shortages arising from pipeline vandalism. This development, couple with the high inflation and weakening purchasing power has worsened the economic burden of the citizens.
The pump price of petrol is N145/litre and although the NNPC insists it has sufficient petrol stock of 1.3 billion litres of petrol, which can serve the nation for more than 38 days, its capacity to solely sustain importation to meet estimated daily national requirement of 40 million litres is in doubt.
A previous arrangement initiated by the minister between the CBN and the international oil companies (IOCs) to provide dollar to fuel importers at N305 had obviously crumbled.
It is speculated that the pump price for petrol will rise to between N155 and N160 per litre next month, in which case the consumers would bear the full brunt of the price increases.
Already the pressure is beginning to show at the retail outlet as petrol supply especially to the far flung states in the North and Southeast diminishes. Even in Lagos, there is activities among motorists who now fill both tanks and cans at filling stations in anticipation of the impending lean supply of PMS.
Since the last pump price increases last year, the PPPRA has not updated its pricing template to enable Nigerians to determine the true pump prices of petroleum products.
But the PPPRA in a statement yesterday debunked all claims of imminent scarcity or pump price increases.
The statement read in part: “We want to assure motorists and commuters alike, that the products supply situation is robust and able to cater for the fuel needs of all Nigerians, pending when ongoing challenges are addressed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the National Petroleum Products Stock data and import plan, currently indicate that the country has two (2) months (Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as PMS) sufficiency, hence as a corollary to the above, PPPRA also wants to inform the citizens that contrary to a widely-held belief on the status of HHK (kerosene), the product is fully deregulated
“We hereby appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm and desist from any form of panic-buying, as we assure them of our total commitment to adequate products supply and distribution across the country, in line with our mandate.”

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