© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Reports of impending fuel scarcity is a hoax, says NNPC
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has asked Nigerians to disregard the rumours of impending fuel scarcity as there are enough petroleum products to last the country a long time.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, gave this assurance at the 30th Enugu International Trade Fair on Thursday.
Baru also dismissed reports of an increase in the fuel pump price, reiterating that the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol remains N145 per litre.
“To make the Easter holidays pleasurable, the NNPC has put all the necessary arrangements in place to berth two vessels of 50 million litres of petrol daily,” Baru said.
“I caution depot owners or terminal operators against selling petrol above the official ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre. Consumers of the product should be informed that the price of petrol in the country remains N145 per litre,” he said.
Similarly, the spokesman of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, issued a statement urging Nigerians not to engage in panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products. He said the rumour was “fabricated by mischief makers with intent to create undue panic in the prevailing sanity in the fuel supply and distribution matrix across the country”..
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has once again appealed to Nigerians to disregard trending social media report of an impending fuel scarcity due to the purported refusal by some oil marketers to lift products from depots,” Ughamadu stated.
He further stated that there are more than one billion litres of petrol in stock across several depots in the country, therefore “there is no need for panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of a phantom scarcity.”
The rumours of a possible hike in the price of petroleum products could be connected to the recent comments by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, that the federal government would consider gradually removing fuel subsidy.
Ahmed, who is currently in Washington DC, the United States of America, attending the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund annual joint meetings, said Nigeria was not in the position “to wake up one night and just remove subsidy” but that a lot of work needs to be done “because subsidy removal has to be gradual and the public has to be well informed”.
Earlier on Thursday, Christian Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF had called on countries still subsidising fossil fuels to quit doing so and rather channel the funds to the education, health, and infrastructure sectors.