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THE Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has deleted the template that announced an increase in price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, to N212.6 per litre.
Checks by The ICIR show that the template titled ‘Guiding Prices for the Month of March 2021’ was deleted a few hours after the increase in price sparked outrage among Nigerians on the social media on Thursday.
The ICIR can also confirm that the PPPRA did not only delete the March 2021 template but also pulled down that of February 2021 earlier seen by the Centre.
Reacting to the template, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in a tweet via its official Twitter handle @NNPCgroup, insisted that there would not be an increase in petrol price in Nigeria.
“NNPC Insists No Increase in Ex-Depot Price of PMS in March,” the agency posted.
However, in a telephone conversation with The ICIR, Folashade Kayode, spokesperson for PPPRA, said the template was only a projection for March 2021.
“I cannot answer questions on that. We just gave an indicative of what it is supposed to be, but I will get back to you. We are having a meeting on that now,” Kayode replied.
THE ICIR had earlier reported that the PPPRA posted a new template for March 2021, putting the price of petrol at 121.6 naira per litre.
According to the template, which has now been deleted, for the month of March 2021, the expected retail prices for the lower band was 209.61 naira while the expected retail prices for the upper band was 212.61 naira, from February’s 183.74 naira and 186.74 naira respectively.
Due to the fears of Nigerians over the template, many residents in Abuja and Lagos State have begun panic buying, and long queues are mounting up.
The ICIR observed a long queue around the NNPC petrol station in Wuse and F.O petrol stations in Abuja.