The federal government has denied increasing the price of premium motor spirit, also called petrol.
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, said this on Friday in a statement issued by Horatius Egua, his senior adviser on media and communications.
Yesterday, several media reports claimed that the federal government quietly approved N185 as the new petrol pump price per litre.
But Sylva said the President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any price increase for petrol, as he is sensitive to the plight of the citizens.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any increase in the price of PMS or any other petroleum product for that matter,” he said.
“There is no reason for President Muhammadu Buhari to renege on his earlier promise not to approve any increase in the price of PMS at this time.
Mr. President is sensitive to the plight of the ordinary Nigerian and has said repeatedly that he understands the challenges of the ordinary Nigerian and would not want to cause untold hardship for the electorate.
Government will not approve any increase of PMS secretly without due consultations with the relevant stakeholders. The President has not directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority or any agency for that matter to increase the price of fuel.
This is not the time for any increase in pump price of PMS.”
Sylva said what was playing out was the “handiwork of mischief makers and those planning to discredit the achievements of the president” in the oil and gas sector.
“I appeal to Nigerians to remain calm and law-abiding as the government is working hard to bring normalcy to fuel supply and distribution in the country,” he said.
Petrol scarcity has lingered since November, 2022. This situation is further worsened by disparity in the pump prices of the commodity across the country.
Several consumers had told TheCable that the product retailed for as high as N300 a litre.
While there is uncertainty as to the reason for the prolonged scarcity, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had said the volume of petrol supplied to marketers by private depots have dropped by about 40 percent.