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Nigerians have been assured that the federal government has no intension of increasing the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol from the prevailing price of N145 per litre.
The clarification issued by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday is coming on the heels of the recent increase in bridging allowance to transporters from N6.20 to N7.20 per litre which some consumers have assumed will lead to a hike in the pump price of the commodity.
The chief operating officer (COO), in charge of downstream operations of the Corporation, Mr. Henry Ikem Obih, who give clarification in Abuja, said there was no plan by government or any of its agencies to review the pump price of petrol above N145 per litre.
A press statement signed by the NNPC spokesperson Ndu Ughamadu stated that the COO explained that the rise in the bridging cost was achieved after an adjustment was made in the “lightering expenses” from N4 to N3 per litre and the difference transferred to compensate for the cost of bridging within the same template.
“What happened, in simple language, is a rebalancing of the margins allowed and approved for stakeholders. So what the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, did was to take N1 from lightering expenses and add same to the bridging allowance. That is how we arrived at N7.20. Therefore, PMS remains at the ceiling of N145 per litre,’’ he said.
He further explained that the bridging allowance refers to the cost element built into the products pricing template to ensure a uniform price of petrol across the country, while lightering expenses involve charges for moving products to depot area from mother vessels by light vessels due to the inability of the former to berth in shallow water depth.
Speaking on availability of product, Mr. Obih said as at today, the country had 1.3billion litres of petrol which translated to an inventory of 36 days.
On the implication he said, “What this means is that even if we stop importation or refining of petrol right now, we have enough products in-country to provide for the needs of every Nigerian for a period of 36 days.”
He added that the supply availability was bolstered with the production of petrol from the three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.