The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it has no plans to increase the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, in March 2021.
This was disclosed in a press release by the NNPC and signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Sunday, February 28, 2021.
NNPC, in the statement, warned petroleum products marketers against engaging in arbitrary price increases or hoarding petrol, so as to avoid artificial scarcity and undue hardship for Nigerians.
The statement from NNPC partly reads, “Contrary to speculations of an imminent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has ruled out any increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March 2021.
“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 products, marketers, not to engage in an arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.”
The statement further stated that the corporation had enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying.
It also 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.
The ex-depot price is the price at which depot owners sell petroleum products to retail outlet owners and petrol marketers across the country.
It is a major determining factor in fixing the retail pump price of petroleum products.
Since the increase in the global price of crude oil, there has been a lot of speculation that the retail pump price of petrol would increase to between N190 and N200 per litre as against the present N162 per litre, following the removal of petrol subsidy and the announcement of full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry.