Written by Godfrey AKON

Confusion as FG struggles to explain fuel hike

Nigeria’s petroleum industry threw up palpable confusion across the country, Friday, as government authorities struggled to explain the sudden increase of fuel price from N172 to N212 per litre.

The decision announced by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, sent shock waves across the country, causing relevant government agencies to scramble to give their side of the story.

While addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said the commission has not increased the ex-depot price of petrol.

Obateru said there was no need for panic buying, assuring that the government will; not increase the pump price of petrol.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in a statement on Friday also refuted any increment of petroleum pump price, assuring that information trending about the hike was untrue.

Sylva also apologized to all Nigerians for any distress and inconvenience the unfortunate information might have caused.

“Irrespective of the source of that information, I want to assure you that it is completely untrue. Neither Mr. President who is the minister of petroleum resources, nor my humble self who deputises for him as minister of state, has approved that the pump price of petrol should be increased by one naira. I would therefore urge you to disregard this misleading information.

“You are all aware that for the past few months the gov’t has been in consultation with organized labour to find the least painful option to respond to the global rise in the price of crude, which in turn has inevitably led to increase in the price of PMS. It is unthinkable that gov’t would unilaterally abandon these discussions and act in the manner suggested by the information   under reference,” he said.

However, the PPPRA in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, said it posted guiding prices of PMS on its website only to indicate current market prices, not to indicate increase.

“The PPPRA by this release wishes to state clearly that the Guiding Prices posted on our website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in pump price of PMS. However, publications by the media to this effect have been misconstrued and thus misleading,” Saidu said.

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