The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday informed Nigerians to ignore speculations about possible increase in the prices of petroleum products.
The information was coming amidst a recent increase in bridging allowance to transporters from N6.20 to N7.20 per litre leading to speculations that the government was preparing grounds for another increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popularly called petrol, from the prevailing price.
The Apex oil firm insisted that it will not lead to an increase in the pump price of petrol from the prevailing price of N145 per litre.
Speaking on the development in Abuja, the Chief Operating Officer, COO, in charge of Downstream operations of the Corporation, Mr. Henry Ikem Obih, said there was no plan by government or any of its agencies to review the pump price of petrol above N145 per litre.
Obih stressed that the rise in the bridging cost was achieved after an adjustment was made in “lightering expenses” from N4 to N3 per litre and the difference transferred to compensate for the cost of bridging within the same template.
The bridging allowance refers to the cost element built into the products pricing template to ensure a uniform price of petrol across the country, while lightering expenses involve charges for moving products to depot area from mother vessels by light vessels due to the inability of the former to berth in shallow water depth.
“What happened, in simple language, is a rebalancing of the margins allowed and approved for stakeholders. So, what the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, did was to take N1 from lightering expenses and add same to the bridging allowance. That is how we arrived at N7.20. Therefore, PMS remains at the ceiling of N145 per litre,’’ he said.