The federal government has assured Nigerians that there is no plan to increase the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), better known as petrol.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) made this known in a statement released on Wednesday.
Kimchi Apollo, general manager, corporate communications, NMDPRA, issued the clarification amid speculations on the increase in price and availability of PMS — especially during the festive period.
He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited had 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,” the statement reads.
“In keeping with the Authority’s responsibilities as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Authority assures the public that it would continue to monitor the supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide, especially during this holiday season.”
In the last week, many Nigerians have been grappling with petrol scarcity with queues surfacing in filling stations across the country.
The situation has resulted in a boom in black market sales while there have been insinuations that oil marketers may be hoarding the product to force a hike in the price.
Peoples Daily had reported that some black marketers sold the product for between N320 and N350 per litre.
“We used to sell the product for N250 before now. But as the product has increased at fuel stations, we had no choice but to increase our price to N350 a litre,” a seller in the Satellite Town area of Lagos said on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed the situation on the distribution crisis caused by vandalism of depots belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.
Meanwhile, the NNPC Limited has said the ongoing road projects in Lagos are partly to blame for petrol queues in the state.
Adeyemi Adetunji, executive vice-president, downstream, NNPC Limited, said the situation in Lagos is affecting the availability of the product in the federal capital territory (FCT).
“The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in some parts of Lagos depots,” he said.
“The NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive loadouts from depots in various states are closely being monitored. Abuja is currently being impacted by the challenges recorded in Lagos.
“NNPC retail and other key marketers have intensified dedicated loading into Abuja to restore normalcy as soon as possible.”