The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria’s State Oil Company, Maikanti Baru on Tuesday, denied knowledge of plans by the independent petroleum marketers to increase the pump price of premium motor spirit.
Major oil marketers in the country under the auspices of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN) had said they were considering an increase of petrol pump price following the consistent increase of exchange rate.
According to the marketers, the exchange rate which spiked as high as N400 to $1 last week, is seriously affecting them as they could not continue to import fuel at such a high rate and sell at the Federal government stipulated price of N145 per liter.
However, Baru said there was no basis for increase as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had met demands for forex for the importation of gasoline.
“I have not been directed to increase pump price, even the other price was based on recommendation from the regulated body. I’m not aware that they are planing to do any increase, you know there are several factors that necessitated that especially the issue of exchange rate that has moved and we don’t expect any serious changes.
“So far the request for forex for importation of gasoline popularly called petrol has been met, and our own supply situation is robust, we are meeting demands. We have over 1.4 billion liters on ground. So I don’t see any basis for increase however, the review could be done by the right body, you should contact PPPRA, that is the regulatory body as far as petrol pricing is concern” the GMD told reporters at the Presidential Villa after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Federal Government had in May this year increased the pump price from N87 pegging it at N145 for what it termed efforts to increase and stabilise the supply of the product. It had thrown the importation of PMS open for any Nigerian entity, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by Regulatory Agencies.
“All oil marketers will be allowed to import PMS on the basis of FOREX procured from secondary sources and accordingly PPPRA template will reflect this in the pricing of the product” the former GMD and Minister of State for Petroleum Ibe Kachikwu had said while announcing the increase in May 11th.
Source: Business Day