What started as a chat between oil marketers and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, seems to have created tension between the ministry and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The marketers had on Friday drawn attention of the Minister to what they termed arbitrary increase in pump price of motor spirit (petrol) by NNPC filling stations, from N140 per litre to N145 at all its mega stations and called for his intervention.
But in reply, Kachukwu stated that he was not aware of increase in price of petrol, adding that there were no plans by government to hike price of the commodity in view of its snow boiling effects on the economy.
However, all the mega stations belonging to the corporation have had their metres adjusted for the new price, despite the minister’s insistence that any situation that will distort the current stability in the sector would not be tolerated by government.
“There might be a serious consequence, because the ministry sees the unauthorised price hike of fuel as an economic sabotage, which should not be associated with the NNPC.
“Unless the NNPC management reverts itself to the current template, as approved by the government, there will be a serious response from the ministry,” a close source to the ministry told Ripples Nigeria.
Though the corporation’s Group General Manager Public Affairs, Mallam Garuba Muhammad, said there was no time management was part of those creating panic in the sector, the stations are yet to be revert to the old pump price.
As a result of the development, some motorists in Abuja and Lagos on Monday took to panic buying of fuel in view of the fear that its price will go up to N150 before the yuletide.
“If NNPC can hike price, what stops other marketers from doing same,” said a manager with a prominent transport company.
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