The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would maintain its current ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) until the conclusion of ongoing engagement with organised labour and other stakeholders.
The Corporation, as reported by The Vanguard, had disclosed that it was bearing the burden of subsidising the pump price of petrol to the tune of N120 billion monthly.
It warned that it might not be able to do so for much longer, leading to speculation of pump price increase in April.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari had explained that the NNPC absorbs the cost differential which is recorded in its financial books, adding that while the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per litre, the government is selling at N162 per litre.
But the Corporation, in a statement issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, clarifying the position of Mallam Kyari, explained that NNPC had no intention to pre-empt ongoing engagement with labour by unilaterally increasing the ex-depot price of petrol.
Mr Obateru noted that as a proactive organisation, NNPC has made arrangements for robust stock of petroleum products in all its strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied at all times.
He advised petroleum products marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol so as not to disrupt the market.
He also urged motorists not to engage in panic buying, stressing that NNPC was committed to ensuring energy security for the country as the supplier of last resort.
He assured marketers and all other relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector of sustainable collaboration for the public interest.