Written by Godfrey AKON

Fuel price hike: NNPC awaits labour talks

The wobbling in Nigeria’s oil industry will create more shocks to its economy in April as indications have emerged that petrol could sell for as much as N200 per litre.

It became clear that the hike was looming, following increase in the actual cost of importation and handling charges to N234 per liter, while the current government-controlled price remains at N162 per litre.

Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it has not increased its Ex-Depot price of petrol, the corporation said it is awaiting the conclusion of ongoing engagement between the organised labour and other stakeholders.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said the Corporation, at the moment, was bearing the burden of importing refined petroleum products as the supplier of last resort to guarantee energy security for the nation.

Obateru stated that the NNPC has no intention to pre-empt ongoing engagement with labour by unilaterally increasing the ex-depot price of petrol, even though the corporation is bearing the burden of price differentials between the landing cost and pump price of petrol.

He said as a proactive organization, NNPC has made arrangements for robust stock of petroleum products in all its strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied at all times.

He advised petroleum products marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol so as not to disrupt the market, while urging motorists not to engage in panic buying, stressing that NNPC was committed to ensuring energy security for the country as the supplier of last resort.

Obateru assured marketers and all other relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector of sustainable collaboration for the public interest.

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