By Obas Esiedesa
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Friday said it would maintain its current ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) until the conclusion of ongoing engagement with the organized labour and other stakeholders.
The Corporation had on Thursday disclosed that it was bearing the burden of subsidizing the pump price of petrol to the tune of N120 billion monthly.
It warned that it may not be able to do so for much longer, leading to speculation of pump price increase in the month of April.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari had explained that the NNPC absorbs the cost differential which is recorded in its financial books, adding that while the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per litre, the government is selling at N162 per litre.
But the Corporation in a statement in Abuja by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru clarifying the position of Mallam Kyari explained that NNPC has no intention to preempt ongoing engagement with labour by unilaterally increasing the ex-depot price of petrol.
Obateru noted that as a proactive organization, NNPC has made arrangements for robust stock of petroleum products in all its strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied at all times.
He advised petroleum products marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol so as not to disrupt the market.
He also urged motorists not to engage in panic buying, stressing that NNPC was committed to ensuring energy security for the country as the supplier of last resort.
He assured marketers and all other relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector of sustainable collaboration for the public interest.