*Says 45-Day Supply Available
The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Monday denied lobbying President Muhammadu Buhari to raise the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N150 per litre, from the present N145.
There was such meeting, the corporation stressed, just as it said the adjustment in its pump price to N145 from N141/litre “is still within d price band of N135-N145/ltr approved by d PPPRA (Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency),” in veiled response to a statement credited to Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on Sunday.
Dr Kachikwu was quoted as saying last Thursday’s N4 increase in price of petrol in NNPC filling stations, is wrong, after receiving an award at an event organized by the PPPRA in Abuja.
“First, I am not aware that the NNPC has increased price. I need to look into that. It is a bit of surprise for me, because there are processes in doing this, if they have done that, it means they are doing it wrongly,” he told journalists.
Kachikwu said the increase could have resulted from foreign exchange differentiation, arising from commitments like payments to the Ministry of Transport and the Nigerian Ports Authority that needed foreign currency.
“Having said that, the reality is that what we did at the point where we did some liberalisation, was to enable the free market float the price.
“Obviously, as you look at foreign exchange differentiations and all that, it would impact. The worst thing you could do is to go back to an era where we basically were fixing prices.
“What we ought to be doing was watching the prices, making sure that they are not taking advantage of the common man; making sure that the template is respected.
“One of the things I think we had hoped to do, which we should still do, before we embark on any price increase is to work on those templates,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I think PPPRA is the one that has the authority to say it is time the template justified some level of movement.
“Otherwise, you have a crisis of individual decisions on pricing,” he said.
In a series of tweets via its official handle, the NNPC assured marketers and motorists of its readiness to continue acting as supplier of last resort and ensuring energy security for Nigeria
To prevent another spate of panic buying of the product by Nigerians, the group confirmed “the availability of over 1.6 billion litres of PMS in-country that would last 45 days consumption.”