NMDPRA insists no plan to increase petrol price, as scarcity lingers

•Expert blames devaluation, FX shortage for scarcity

As queues for fuel continue to grow in most parts of the country, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) insists there are no plans by the Federal Government to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

This comes as the Chief Executive Officer of Diary Hills Limited, Kelvin Emmanuel said shortage of foreign exchange and devaluation of the Naira were responsible for PMS shortage.

The corporate communications department of the NMDPRA, dispelled possible increment in the pump price in Abuja, yesterday. Specifically, the Authority said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has imported PMS with current stock levels sufficient for 34 days.

“Consequently, marketers and the general public are advised to avoid panic buying, diversion of products, and hoarding,” it stated.

The NMDPRA said that in keeping with the Authority’s responsibilities as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Authority assured the public that it would continue to monitor the supply and distribution of all petroleum products nationwide especially during this holiday season.

In his reaction to the possibility of fuel queues going into the new year celebrations, Emmanuel declared that the spate of recent scarcity in premium motor spirit as recorded in major cities around the country, has nothing to do with the poor excuse of lack of stable road connections leading in and out of major depots in Tincan and Apapa, that was given by the NNPC.

He explained: “The drop in the naira and unavailability of forex has raised the depot prices of PMS from N162.5 to between 205-210 per litre, which has made it impossible for MOMAN to have its members sell at the regulated price. The inflation of the daily consumption volume from 29million litres in 2016 to 66 million litres in 2022 without empirical data to back the direct sales, direct purchase arrangement that has wiped away the over $10 billion in foreign exchange revenues that NNPC used to remit to CBN as Oil receipts for use in meeting up with forex obligations, has made a simple problem even more complicated.”

He added that the coming of the Dangote Refinery in 2023, will show Nigerians the reality in daily consumption volumes, and it will also lead to full deregulation that will drive the prices per litre above N400, but also guarantee supply without the exigency of added cost like shipping, insurance, clearing costs.