By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, debunked claims of a planned increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol.
In a statement in Abuja, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, advised motorists and other petroleum products consumers to disregard trending rumour of a planned hike in the pump price of petrol.
Ughamadu insisted that the statement of the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, at the National Assembly, Wednesday, did not suggest any plan to increase the price of the white product.
He clarified that what the NNPC GMD stated during his engagement with the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, at the National Assembly was that the price of petrol was abysmally low in Nigeria compared to what obtained in neighbouring West African countries.
Ughamadu noted that Kyari had observed at the event that the huge disparity in the pump price of petrol between Nigeria on the one hand and her neighbouring country on the other hand tended to encourage cross-border leakages, as he sought the support of the leadership of the National Assembly to curb the malaise of smuggling.
He advised Nigerians from all walks of life to disregard the insinuation of a plan hike in the price of petrol by NNPC, saying statutorily, NNPC was not even in a position to regulate the price of petroleum products, advising that NNPC role as an operator must be differentiated from that of any of the Industry regulators.
The NNPC spokesperson stated that as directed by relevant agencies of the government, the pump Price of petrol remains N145 per litre.
Ughamadu cautioned petroleum products marketers not to sell petrol above N145 per litre following the disclaimed rumour.
He 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.