The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Saturday warned petroleum products depot owners or terminal operators against selling premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, above the official ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre.
Speculations were rife last week that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the NNPC subsidiary in charge of marketing and distribution of petroleum products, had quietly sneaked on Nigerians a 1.67 per cent price increase hike on the ex-depot price.
Reports had it that petroleum products marketers were asked to pay a new ex-depot price of N135.50 per litre, about N2.22 above the prevailing approved price.
But, both the General Manager, PPMC, Billy Okoye, and the NNPC Spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES in separate enquiries that no such hike was either contemplated or in force.
Also, both the Executive Secretary of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Olufemi Adewole, and his Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Clement Isong, denied knowledge of any such price hike.
However, to stem any disruption in the supply of petroleum products as a result of the speculation, the NNPC cautioned petroleum products marketers against any attempt to sell petrol above N145 per litre pump price.
Ex-depot price is the ceiling price at which petroleum products depot owners or terminal operators are expected to sell products to marketers, while the pump price of a product is the amount consumers buy it from fuel stations or retail outlets across the country.
Since 2015, the present administration had announced the removal of subsidy in the supply of petroleum products, with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) fixing N145 as the ceiling retail price for petrol in its fuel pricing template.
In his statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, NNPC spokesperson, Mr Ughamadu reminded the marketers that the subsisting ex-depot petrol price of N133.28k per litre.
He said the price was consistent with the prevailing PPPRA fuel pricing template and should be adhered to strictly.
Mr Ughamadu reassured Nigerians that contrary to speculations that the NNPC was running short of stock of petroleum products in its depots, the corporation has a cumulative stock of over one billion litres in different depots across the country.
He said imports of 48 vessels of fuel, consisting 50million litres each, have also been committed for April alone.
“Nigerians should remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Industry regulator or any law enforcement agency around them, on any station selling petrol beyond N145 per litre official price,” the NNPC spokesperson said.