The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said is has no plan to increase the retail price of petrol.
The stàte-owned oil company said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursdày to refute stories trending in the media that the government wants to raise the price from the current N145 per litre.
The spokesperson of the corporation, Ndu Ughamadu, advised motorists and other petroleum products consumers in the country to disregard the rumour of an impending price hike.
The rumour appeared to have gained currency on Wednesday following a statement credited to the corporation’s newly appointed Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, during his visit to the National Assembly.
During his engagement with the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Mr Kyari was quoted to have observed that the price of petrol in Nigeria was too low compared to what obtains in neighbouring countries in the West African sub-region.
Mr Ughamadu said the NNPC’s observation that Nigeria’s petrol price was the lowest among her neighbours was not in any way suggestive of any plan to increase the price of the white products in the country.
The NNPC spokesperson clarified that Mr Kyari observation about the huge disparity in the pump price of petrol between Nigeria and her neighbouring countries was only to buttress the widely known reason why cross-border leakages and smuggling of petroleum products thrive.
According to Mr Ughamadu, Mr Kyari was only highlighting the enormity of the problem posed by smuggling as a result of the price disparity and the need for the leadership of the National Assembly to support efforts to curb the malaise.
He advised Nigerians from all walks of life to disregard the insinuation of a planned hike in the price of petrol by NNPC.
“NNPC is not even in a position to regulate the price of petroleum products. NNPC’s role as an operator must be differentiated from that of any of the Industry regulators,” he said.
The NNPC spokesperson stated that as directed by relevant agencies of the government, particularly the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the pump Price of petrol remains N145 per litre.
NNPC cautioned petroleum products, marketers not to sell petrol above N145 per litre following the disclaimed rumour.
The corporation also advised Nigerians to remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Industry regulator, or to any law enforcement agency around them, on any station which sells petrol beyond N145 per litre.