By Emmanuel Addeh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on the authorities to sanction any marketer caught increasing petrol prices arbitrarily.
The national oil company also reiterated that there will be no increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in February 2021 in spite of the rise in the price of crude oil in the international market.
This was disclosed in a press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, on Thursday.
The statement explained that the decision was to “allow ongoing engagements with organised labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship, to be concluded”.
NNPC urged petroleum products marketers not to engage in hoarding of products in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.
The NNPC gave the assurance that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for about 40 days.
It further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.
According to the government, the nation’s downstream sector was deregulated in March 2020 with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, stating that the prices of petroleum products would be determined by prevailing market forces.