By Obas Esiedasa – Abuja
The Federal Government at the weekend insisted that the current pump price would remain for now with the expected high rate of travel during the festive period.
Presently, petrol sells at N162/163 per litre in most major petrol stations with independent marketers selling at N165/litre.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, Engr. Farouk Ahmed who spoke to journalists in Abuja at the Petroleum Regulators’ 1st Invitational Golf Tournament organised by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC and NMDPRA, assured consumers that there would be no price increase in the immediate future.
Ahmed who was represented at the event by Ogbogu Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure, said the government was working hard to resolve the challenges faced by operators.
According to him, “I will like to assure everybody that it is mere speculation. There will be no increase in the pump price, not in the near future.
“This is peak consumption period for Nigerians. Our focus must be on the average Nigerian who is on the street.
“People will be travelling now and so you don’t increase pump price arbitrarily like that. So the pump price will be maintained and Nigerians should feel free to travel”.
He however pointed out “But having said that, yes there are issues. Last two weeks the chief executive led, for the first time, we had every major player under the same roof.
“They raised the issues, the issues were addressed as much as we could and we all left with happy faces and handshakes.
“This is the way forward for now. The NNPC was represented by as high as the Group Executive Director, Downstream, who assured that there will be sufficient supply during this period.
“And even on the dollar payment issue, they (NNPC) conceded to take freight in naira. This is because as we know the dollar issue is critical. So I will like to assure everybody that there will be no pump price increase,” he added.
Also speaking to journalists at the event, the Chief Executive of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe noted that despite the global clamour for energy transition, the Commission has had fruitful discussions with investors in the industry.
Komolafe stated that Nigeria needed to increase its oil and gas production to meet its national economic and social demands.
He said: “Since I came on board we’ve started various engagements with investors including international oil companies and other independent producers.
“The feedback we are getting from our engagements with investors has been quite positive regardless of the developments in the outside world, especially with regards to energy transition.
“The PIA (Petroleum Industry Act) has offered very robust and attractive fiscal regimes and so there’s still quite a lot of investment opportunities in the Nigerian oil sector and we try to canvass that to investors regardless of the challenges posed by the energy transition”.
Speaking on the golf tournament which was held at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Maitama, Komolafe said: “We need productivity in the oil and gas sector and it is in realisation of that that the NUPRC has put together this tournament with our sister agency, because it is important for our workers to be healthy.
“Apart from the health benefits of the game of golf, it is a means of social connectivity and networking. And for oil and gas investments you need to network with investors. So this provides that opportunity for you to achieve that,” he added.