The Nigerian government says there will be no increase in the pump price of petrol in the country in June.
The government said this in a statement signed by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, on Friday.
In April, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s group managing director, Mele Kyari, announced that the price of petrol will not be increased until ongoing negotiations between labour unions and the government are concluded.
Mr Kyari, however, warned that the NNPC cannot continue to bear the subsidy burden on its books, noting that it pays between N100 and 120 billion a month to keep the pump price at the current level.
The clarification became crucial following recent reports of the resolution of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) who called for the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry and adopted a price of N385 per litre.
“Once again, it has become necessary to assure Nigerians that despite the burden of under-recovery, the Federal Government is not in a hurry to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) to reflect current market realities,” the statement said.
“The current price of petrol will be retained in the month of June until the ongoing engagement with organized labour is concluded.
“This clarification becomes necessary in the light of recent reports regarding the resolution of the Nigeria Governors Forum to increase the pump price of petrol,” Mr Sylva said in the statement.
He added: “In this regard, I would like to strongly urge petroleum products, marketers, not to engage in any activities that could jeopardize the seamless supply and distribution system in place while calling on members of the public to avoid panic buying because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has enough stock of petroleum products to keep the nation wet.”