News One reports that the Federal Government for the first time in weeks since the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, began, opened up and declared on Wednesday that there was no plan to increase the pump price of petrol, at least during the Yuletide season.
This online news platform understands that the government’s comments came amid a worsening and persistent fuel scarcity, which spread further on Wednesday across the country. Also, the cost of the commodity rose to as high as N285/litre in some filling stations in Abuja.
Oil marketers stated that the black market cost of petrol in Lagos had risen to about N450/litre, while it sold for more than that price in some other states.
But the government disclosed on Wednesday that there was fuel supply stock that could last the country for 34 days.
This came as a senior official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited confided in The PUNCH that subsidy on the PMS was becoming unbearable for the oil firm, amid product diversion.
As concerns around fuel price and supply heightened, the government declared that it had no plan to increase the price of petrol, describing comments on PMS price and its availability as speculations.
However, the government, through its Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, did not state any approved pump price for petrol, neither did it condemn the hike in PMS price by marketers nationwide.
On Wednesday, November 30, 2022, the pump price of petrol could hit N400/litre at most filling stations before the end of this year, going by the continued scarcity of the product, according to oil marketers.
This will represent over 100 per cent increase in the pump price over the period.
News One Nigeria reports that Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, had told PUNCH that most IPMAN members, who owned bulk of the filling stations across the country, were now subjected to purchasing PMS at about N220/litre, which was why many outlets currently dispensed at about N250/litre and above.
Chinedu said the cost of the commodity had been rising due its unavailability and other concerns in the sector, stressing that consumers should be ready to pay between N350/litre to N400/litre before the end of this year.
Reacting to the concerns around PMS price and its availability, in an advisory issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the NMDPRA said, “This advisory addresses speculations on the price and availability of Premium Motor Spirit.
“The authority wishes to inform the general public that the Federal Government has no intention of increasing the price of PMS during this period. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited has imported PMS with current stock levels sufficient for 34 days.
“Consequently, marketers and the general public are advised to avoid panic buying, diversion of products, and hoarding. In keeping with the authority’s responsibilities as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act, the authority assures the public that it would continue to monitor the supply and distribution of all petroleum products nationwide especially during this holiday season.”