NNPC: No Immediate Plan to Increase Fuel Price

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By DPR denies employing presidential aide

By Emmanuel Addeh

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), yesterday reacted to insinuations that it was planning to increase the pump price of petrol, saying that the corporation was not aware of such proposition.

This is coming as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has distanced itself from a purported letter of appointment said to have been issued to the aide of President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Mr. Bashir Ahmad.

The national oil company reacted, as many Nigerians have started complaining of buying the product far above the official N162 per litre.

The concern became more pronounced since last week after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, urged Nigerians to prepare to bear the pains that will arise from the expected hike due to the steady recovery of international crude oil prices.

But Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said in Abuja that there was no imminent upward review of the petrol price, noting that contrary to statements by some players of increase in ex-depot price, the price remains the same.

“NNPC has not increased its ex-depot price. I am certain that NNPC is not likely to increase its ex-depot price in February,” Obateru stated.

He added that the NNPC has a stock of petrol that can last over 40 days and allayed fears of impending scarcity of the product.

The NNPC urged the DPR to apprehend any marketer found to be hoarding petrol in contravention of the law.

He added: “We have sufficiency for almost forty something days. If people are hoarding or increasing their prices that one is for the DPR to look into.”

In the meantime, the DPR has distanced itself from a purported letter of appointment said to have been issued to an aide to President Buhari, which has been trending in the social media space.

In a statement signed by Head of the agency’s Public Affairs Department, Mr. Paul Osu, the DPR described the letter as fake, adding that the presidential aide had not been appointed to head any unit in the agency.

Describing the letter as the handiwork of some mischief makers hiding behind the veil of social media to spread fake news and mislead the public, Osu, asked members of the public to disregard the purported letter in its entirety.

Osu noted that employment into the DPR is carried out in accordance with extant rules guiding such exercises in the Nigerian public service, saying that Ahmad had not been employed by the regulatory agency.