The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and marketers in the downstream oil sector have denied that there are any immediate plans by the federal government to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit.
The disavowal is coming on the back of a warning against any increment issued by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
Speaking on the issue the corporation’s Group General Manager for Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, dismissed the claims of price hike.
Despite its failure to accrue profits in recent months, the national oil firm had never complained about the financial burden it shouldered in ensuring that the country remained wet with products, Ughamadu added.
He said, “The government and the NNPC had denied rumours of petrol price increase on several occasions. There is nothing of such for now. And assuming we are incurring losses, we have not complained. We have various roles to play in the country as supplier of last resort even when others are not supplying.
“We are not complaining; and we will continue to ensure that our refineries produce at optimum capacity and support production with imports when necessary. There is no directive from the Federal Government to increase petrol price at the moment.”
When asked if other oil marketers were still able to access the United States dollars at subsidised rates for the importation of fuel, Ughamadu replied, “That window is still open with the NNPC. We made a plea some months ago and the Central Bank of Nigeria granted it.”
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, said there were no discussions between the government and the marketers regarding increase in fuel price.
He said some marketers were even reducing petrol prices, adding, “There is glut in the market, so there is no way anybody will want to think of increasing prices now. The NNPC is over-importing.”