No plans to increase fuel price in March – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has no plans to increase the price of petrol in the month of March.

NNPC spokesman Kennie Obateru in a statement said the rumoured speculations of an imminent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country was not true.

Obateru stated that the “corporation was not contemplating any raise in the price of petrol in March in order not to jeopardize ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.”

The NNPC spokesman’s statement was in reaction to claims that the country could be thrown into anxiety over a supposed scarcity of petroleum products.

In Lagos State, some petrol stations were shut at the weekend, raising fears that a petrol scarcity could be in the offing. This led to panic buying in fuelling stations that were open during the weekend.

NNPC’s retail outlet in the Ojodu-Berger area was shut against motorists Sunday afternoon. But motorists besieged the few other petrol stations that were open around the area to purchase fuel.

Some filling stations in the state are currently selling petrol at N170 per litre.

However, NNPC cautioned petroleum product marketers “not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.

“The Corporation stated that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying.”

The NNPC spokesman called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers to sanction those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.