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NNPC, Independent Marketers Deny Plan To Increase Petrol Prices in Nigeria

NNPC, Independent Marketers Deny Plan To Increase Petrol Prices in Nigeria

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) as well as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday refuted reports of a planned petrol increase to N1,200.
Some blogs and various social media handles had twisted a report by a national newspaper which sought to know what the pump price of the product would likely be if strict market forces were allowed to determine petrol prices.
They thereafter ran with the story that the federal government planned to raise pump prices to at least N1,200 in connivance with the petroleum marketers.
But in two reactions to the stories, the NNPC in its first response, noted that the payment of subsidy had long gone while in the second, it noted that there was no plan to increase fuel prices.
“NNPC Ltd emphasises it has not clashed with any party. The publication sought confirmation on alleged subsidy reduction, to which NNPC responded that subsidy has been entirely removed,” a statement by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the NNPC, Olufemi Soneye stated.
 The national oil company urged Nigerians to disregard the news, describing it as “unfounded rumours.”
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) assures the public that there is no imminent increase in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.
“NNPC urges Nigerians to disregard unfounded rumours and assures them that there are no plans for an upward review of the PMS price. Motorists nationwide are advised against engaging in panic buying, as there is presently ample availability of PMS across the country,” NNPC said.
Speaking on the same issue on Arise Television, THISDAY’s broadcast organisation last night, the IPMAN National Chairman, Abubakar Maigandi, noted there was no such signal to raise prices from the NNPC, which is currently the sole importer of the product.
Maigandi explained that he was also not aware that any subsidy was being paid on the product, insisting that if the sole importer says it’s not paying any subsidy, then it should be believed.
“The NNPC is the sole importer of these petroleum products and when they say there’s no subsidy then there’s no subsidy because they are the only ones importing.
“The rumour about increment is not true because we have not heard anything from the NNPC about increments. We advise all our marketers to go to the various depots to see that they load products. There’s no such plan to increase price,” Maigandi explained.
He stated that only the NNPC can tell the price of the product, stressing that although the situation whereby the NNPC is the sole importer is not ideal,  it is what obtains for now.
“Presently there is no increment and we didn’t receive any communication from the NNPC that there is an increment. So we are still selling  the same way were  buying before.
 “That is the reason we have told all our marketers that they should start selling their products in their various stations according to the way they have been selling. So if there is any information, definitely I know it will come from the NNPC,” he added.
Stressing that there’s nothing to fear, Maigandi stated that even if there is currently a minor scarcity anywhere in the country, it has to do with the festive period which he said will soon normalise.
He also said that apart from creating jobs, when the Port Harcourt and Dangote refineries begin operations, there will likely be a marginal reduction in pump prices.
“If the Port Harcourt refinery has started functioning, and Dangote refinery also starts to function, definitely there will be availability and the cost is expected  to come a little bit lower than what we have been purchasing before, because it’s now  being refined in the country,” he added.
On the question of whether he knows how much has been saved by government from the removal of subsidy, Maigandi stated that he wasn’t aware, explaining that it was not part of their assignment.
“We are not into that because even when there was subsidy, we didn’t participate much in the subsidy issue.  We purchase products from the NNPC because they are the importers.
“And if Nigeria saved a particular amount of money, it is good and fine. But all what I know since that time is that we have had availability of the product in  our filling stations and our marketers are doing their business the way they have been doing before,” he added.
 According to him, IPMAN is also planning to have two modular refineries in Lagos and Calabar.
“And we, the independent petroleum marketers are making plans and even pushing to see that we own our own refinery. We are planning it in two places. There is one in Lagos that we have already secured the land for and also one in Calabar,” he pointed out

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