The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said there will be no increase in the price of petrol in the country in March, and has cautioned sellers and buyers against hoarding and panic-buying.
The NNPC said this in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, on Sunday via its verified Twitter handle.
The response came amidst reports of possible increase in the price of petrol that has dominated the public space.
Queues resurfaced in many cities weekend as residents besieged fuel stations in anticipation of yet another season of fuel scarcity.
On Sunday, PREMIUM TIMES found that a number of petrol stations in Ojodu and Ikeja areas were under lock and key. At Ojodu-Berger area, the NNPC retail outlet was shut against motorists Sunday afternoon.
In Abuja, there were queues at major fuel stations visited across the city.
On Sunday, a long queue of both motorists and motorcyclists was observed at the NNPC filling station along Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja. While a litre of petrol was sold at N162, the fuel station attendants refused to sell to individuals with gallons.
Similar reports were received from other parts of the country.
According to the NNPC statement, contrary to speculations of imminent increase in the price of petrol in the country, there will be no increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March 2021.
The ex-depot price is the price at which depot owners buy the product from the NNPC which is virtually the sole importer of petrol into the country. It is fixed by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC.
The NNPC statement said “the Corporation was not contemplating any raise in the price of petrol in March in order not to jeopardize ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.”
“NNPC also cautioned petroleum product marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians while giving assurance that it had enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying.”
It further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.
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