…Cautions Nigerians against panic buying
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority on Wednesday said the Federal Government is not currently planning to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol.
Fuel queues resurfaced in Lagos, Abuja and some neighbouring states, a development that has made some oil marketers to increase the price of the product.
The scarcity was caused by some distribution issues in Lagos terminals arising from three days gridlock in Apapa which abated two days ago.
It was also caused by construction work in some roads, shuttle vessel challenges due to freight rate escalation which had risen from $21 to $45 per day.
This had led to to changes in ex-depot cost, thereby making it practically impossible to sell the product at the official rate of N175 or N180 per litre in Lagos and Abuja.
The increase in freight cost has also made it difficult for marketers to supply petrol to Abuja and Lagos at the official rate of between N175 and N185 per litre.
Also, high cost of diesel and the spiral effect of foreign exchange rates as well as its non-availability have complicated the fuel.
The most recent queues in several parts of the country have left many commuters stranded.
Others have resorted to buying the product from black marketers who have cashed in on the situation to sell at exorbitant prices.
The government has said payment of subsidy for fuel is unsustainable and has planned its removal for middle of next year.
But reacting to the development, the Authority said the Federal Government has no intention of increasing the price of PMS during this period.
It assured that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has imported PMS with current stock levels sufficient for 34 days.
Consequently, it advised Marketers and Nigerians to avoid panic buying, diversion of products, and hoarding.
The statement reads, “This advisory addresses speculations on the price and availability of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“The Authority wishes to inform the general public that the Federal Government has no intention of increasing the price of PMS during this period.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has imported PMS with current stock levels sufficient for 34 days.
Consequently, Marketers and the general public are advised to avoid panic buying, diversion of products, and hoarding.
“In keeping with the Authority’s responsibilities as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Authority assures the public that it would continue to monitor the supply and distribution of all petroleum products nationwide especially during this holiday season.”
However, the Authority has cautioned Nigerians against panic buying since it has not officially increase the price of PMS.