Yesterday, Nigerians were awoken to the direct news that the pump price of N145 is simply not sustainable and the current supply was due to subsidies by the NNPC. What that sparked were rumors of an impending price hike in the pump price of fuel and a probable scarcity of the product.
However, the NNPC has been quick to debunk these rumors and assure Nigerians that neither a price hike nor scarcity of petrol was a possibility in the nearest future. According to the NNPC’s general manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mr Mele Kyari, who said ‘Regardless of what we are saying, the bottom-line is that there is absolutely no plan, whatsoever, by government to increase fuel price above the N145 maximum level.
If there is going to be anything like that, the agency responsible for fixing the price of petrol, the PPPRA, would definitely sensitize Nigerians on it and give reasons for it. The reality is that there is absolutely no plan to increase fuel price. There is no shortage and there is no possibility of shortage in the nearest future.’
The reasons Kyari gave for his assurance include the fact that the NNPC already has a long term procurement contract that will not be affected by the international oil price in the nearest future. Secondly, Kyari said that the corporation had blocked all possible loopholes that could result in a deficit supply of petrol.
A third reason for his confidence on the continued supply of the product is functionality of the country’s refineries with both the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries producing. He however said that the NNPC did not fully rely on the production of the refineries due to upgrades and major maintenance scheduled for them.