By Udeme Akpan
THE National Bureau of Statistics, NBS report, released yesterday, showed that the average price paid by consumers for premium motor spirit (petrol) decreased by -15.1% year-on-year and -1.1per cent month-on-month to N145.80 in December 2018 from N147.50 in November 2018.
Although the report did not provide explanation, investigation by Vanguard showed that the fall in price was as a result of the drop in the price of crude oil from $85 to about $50 during the period.
Consequently, refiners paid less for crude oil, thus leading to the fall in the price of petrol, a bulk of which is still imported from the global market into Nigeria.
The NBS report also stated: “States with the highest average price of premium motor spirit (petrol) were Taraba (N150.27), Gombe (N150.20) & Bayelsa (N150.00).
“States with the lowest average price of premium motor spirit (petrol) were Jigawa (N144.21), Bauchi (N144.20) & Yobe (N143.33).”
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it was able to import adequate fuel for domestic consumption during the period.
Dr. Baru who attributed the success to the support NNPC received from President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed that NNPC had 3billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), (otherwise known as petrol), equivalent to 60 days sufficiency, adding that the stock would suffice through the election period, even if no fresh addition was made.
The GMD thanked President Buhari for maintaining the existing pump price of N145.00 per litre “ even when there were times when we brought in products that indicated under recovery of almost N80.00 per litre,” while advising hoarders to turn a new leaf, saying that Government would not tolerate sharp practices.
Also, he has charged the Corporation Downstream Company, NNPC Retail, to increase its current 14 per cent market share to 30 per cent by 2020.
Dr. Baru stated that NNPC was determined to ensure that the prevailing availability of petroleum products across the country was sustained as arrangements have reachedadvanced stage to acquire more landed property in Abuja and across the states to build more NNPC retail outlets.