*No truth in the report, says NNPC, NPMC
Petroleum workers yesterday kicked against the plan by government to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) otherwise known as NUPENGASSAN, made this known yesterday in their position papers to the Chairman, Ad-Hoc House of Representatives Committee on the Review of Pump Price of Premium Motor Spirit.
NUPENGASSAN maintained: “This is not the right time to review the pricing template of PMS due to certain reasons.”
NUPENGASSAN further said: “The recession is biting hard on all Nigerians. Any attempt to further review the template will further impoverish ordinary Nigerians, as the additional price will be transferred to the end users of the product.
However, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru dismissed reports of any upward review of the price of petrol.
His counterpart at the Nigeria Petroleum Marketing Company (NPMC), Mr. Farouk Ahmed also spoke in the same vein, saying his outfit can no longer worsen the rate of the average Nigerian with a fuel price increase.
Both spoke yesterday before the same ad hoc committee in Abuja.
Baru, who was represented by NNPC’s chief Executive Officer, Downstream, Henry Ikem-Obih, faulted the notions that NNPC stopped supply of fuel to marketers since last week. He said the coastal price of the product to marketers still stood at N123 per litre.
Ahmed, who assured that his outfit would ensure availability of fuel through its retail outlets, remarked that there was nothing his outfit could do to reduce the price of kerosene and diesel since the prices of the products have been deregulated.
He blamed foreign exchange problems for the high cost of the products. The NPMC chief expressed optimism that the involvement of more marketers and repair of pipelines remains the solution to the shortage of the products across the country.