President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any increase in the price of petrol, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said yesterday.
The minister said in a statement in Abuja that the current increase in the pump price of petrol which started on Thursday was the handiwork of mischief makers and those planning to discredit the achievements of the president.
The pump price of petrol rose on Thursday from N179 in major marketers’ filling stations to N199 per litre in Abuja and other northern states, while Lagos and neighbouring states raised their prices to N185 per litre.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any increase in the price of PMS or any other petroleum product for that matter. There is no reason for President Muhammadu Buhari to renege on his earlier promise not to approve any increase in the price of PMS at this time. Mr President is sensitive to the plight of the ordinary Nigerian and has said repeatedly that he understands the challenges of the ordinary Nigerian and would not want to cause untold hardship for the electorate.
“Government will not approve any increase of PMS secretly without due consultations with the relevant stakeholders. The president has not directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) or any agency for that matter to increase the price of fuel. This is not the time for any price increase in pump price of PMS,” Sylva stated.
The minister noted; “I appeal to Nigerians to remain calm and law abiding as the government is working hard to bring normalcy to fuel supply and distribution in the country.”
The association also said another major cause is the shortage and high (US dollar) cost of daughter vessels for ferrying products from mother vessels to depots along the coast.
It also blamed the situation on inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver product from depots to filling stations nationwide.
These high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on prices at the pump, it said in a statement.
While sympathizing with customers and Nigerians over the challenges, it said, over the past three months, staff & management of MOMAN companies have worked diligently at depots and filling stations to relieve the stress faced by customers through the Christmas and New year period.
“Our members have again agreed to extend depot loading hours as well as keep strategically situated service stations open for longer hours to ease access to fuels for our customers.
“MOMAN shall continue to use its best endeavors to ensure that product is sold at the pump at prices currently approved by the Regulatory Authorities, despite pressure on price by demand and costs in our immediate operating environment.
“A final resolution to these challenges will be the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to encourage liberalization of supply and long-term investments in distribution assets.
“We urge the government to work towards this end goal,” it said.
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