By Ademola Adeleye
Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva has apologised for the misinformation that led to the alleged increase in the price of fuel from N165 to N212.61 per litre.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Agency (PPPRA) had yesterday posted a new price template on its website for March 2021.
This is coming as government continues to insist there will be no price increase yet.
Already, fuel stations in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja have started hoarding product while others immediately implemented the new price regime.
Later today, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) insisted there is no price increase and PPPRA subsequently deleted the information on its website.
The information however had caused an artificial scarcity according to investigation conducted by this newspaper with some fuel stations selling for as high as N175 per litre.
Mr Sylva in a statement made available to Infactng said neither he nor the President who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum has approved any price increase.
Sylva: “Neither Mr. President who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, nor my humble self who deputise 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.”
The Minister said government is holding talks with organised labour to look for the least painful response to the increase in international oil price and would not abandon talks to announce an increment in fuel price.
He also warned marketers who may want to use this situation for illegal enrichment to desist and apologised for the “distress and inconvenience the unfortunate information” has caused.
Read the full statement
Dear Nigerians, you are by now very aware of the news trending that the federal govt has increased the price of petrol to N212.6 per liter.
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 deputise 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 govt 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 govt would unilaterally abandon these discussions and act in the manner suggested by the information under reference.
Cynicism and deceit have never been the trademark of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
I would like to equally assure you that the engagement with organized labour and other stakeholders will continue even as the calculations to arrive at a reasonable price regime are being done; all in good faith, and you will be availed of the final outcome at the appropriate time. Until then, all marketers are strongly advised to maintain the current pump price of PMS before the emergence of this unfortunate information. Those who may want to take advantage of this unfortunate misinformation to extort Nigerians should not give in to such temptation as there are regulatory mechanisms that govt can enforce to protect its citizens.
In conclusion, I want to sincerely apologise to all Nigerians for any distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused.