The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has advised motorists to refrain from panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol, saying it has no intention to increase the ex-depot price in March. Motorists and commuters in Abuja and Lagos woke up to a crude shock on Sunday morning to find most filling stations shut, with a few others operating. Vehicles were seen in long queues waiting to buy petrol. The Corporation gave the advice in a statement by its spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru, in Abuja on Sunday. The ex-depot price is the price at which depot owners sell products to marketers. The price determines how much marketers will sell to motorists at their various fuel stations.
“Contrary to speculations of an imminent increase in the price of PMS in the country, the NNPC has ruled out any increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March.
“The corporation was not contemplating any rise in the price of petrol in March in order not to jeopardize ongoing engagements with organised labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship,” Obateru said.
It was gathered that many filling stations were not selling petroleum products in Abuja and environs at the weekend, blaming rising depot price and lack of access to petrol due to new payment rules by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) a subsidiary of the NNPC, for the development.
Obateru also advised petroleum products, marketers, not to engage in erratic price hike or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.
He added that the corporation had enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying. He further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.