NNPCL denies plan to increase fuel price to N1,200 per litre

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has refuted rumours that it intends to hike the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol or fuel, to N1,200 per litre. The company issued a statement on its official Twitter account on Friday, January 5, 2024, to clarify the situation and reassure Nigerians.

“We do not intend to increase our PMS pump prices as widely speculated,” the statement said. “Please buy the best quality products at the most affordable prices at our NNPC Retail Stations nationwide.”1

The NNPCL is Nigeria’s sole importer of refined petroleum products. It has increased petrol prices twice since removing the fuel subsidy in May 2023. The current pump price of petrol in Nigeria is N617 per litre. This is significantly higher than the pre-subsidy price of N184 per litre2.

The removal of the petrol subsidy has been a controversial issue in Nigeria. The government has argued that the subsidy was unaffordable and that its removal would help to reduce corruption and improve efficiency in the oil sector. However, critics of the subsidy removal say that it has placed a heavy burden on ordinary Nigerians, who are already struggling to cope with the high cost of living2.

The NNPCL’s denial of the price increase came after reports emerged on the internet on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, alleging that the company will soon announce a new increase in the fuel pump price across the country. The reports claimed that the NNPCL had clashed with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) over the subsidy reduction, and that the company was planning to increase the price of petrol to N1,200 per litre to cover its losses3.

However, the NNPCL said that there was no truth to the reports, and that it had not clashed with any party over the subsidy issue. The company also said that the subsidy had been entirely removed, and that it was operating under a market-based pricing regime3.

Oil marketers and experts have expressed mixed reactions to the NNPCL’s statement. Some have welcomed the company’s assurance that it will not increase the price of fuel, while others have expressed doubts about the sustainability of the current pricing regime. They said that other factors, such as exchange rate, taxes, subsidies, and logistics, would also affect the pricing of refined products in the domestic market2.

It remains to be seen whether the NNPCL will stick to its word and refrain from increasing petrol prices in the near future. However, the company’s statement will likely provide relief for Nigerians who are worried about the impact of fuel price hikes on their livelihoods.

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