In the face of growing concerns about the possibility of a petrol price hike, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has stepped forward to quash the speculations, alleviating public fears regarding fuel affordability. In a carefully worded statement shared late on Monday via its official X handle (formerly Twitter), the NNPCL, a key importer and distributor of petroleum products in Nigeria, firmly denied any intention to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.
Addressing its valued customers, NNPCL Retail, the downstream subsidiary responsible for retailing refined petroleum products, reassured patrons that it remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining the current pricing structure. The statement read, “Dear esteemed customers, we at NNPCL Retail value your patronage, and we do not have the intention to increase our PMS pump prices as widely speculated. Please buy the best quality products at the most affordable prices at our NNPCL Retail stations nationwide.”
This assertion by NNPCL comes amidst escalating economic concerns, particularly as oil marketers hinted at a potential surge in petrol prices. Over the weekend, industry players raised alarms that the cost of petrol could skyrocket to levels ranging from N680 to N720 per liter in the coming weeks. The price projections were contingent on the continued fluctuation of the Nigerian currency against the dollar, with market observers citing the dollar trading between N910 and N950 in the parallel market.
Furthermore, these warnings from oil marketers highlighted the challenges they are facing regarding foreign exchange availability for importing petroleum products. With the scarcity of foreign exchange, dealers who had intentions to import PMS were reportedly compelled to shelve their plans. The situation was exacerbated by the recent depreciation of the naira, which crossed the threshold of N900 per dollar, reaching over 945 per dollar in the parallel market last Friday. Additionally, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Importers and Exporters’ official window for foreign exchange, which boasts a more favorable exchange rate of about $740 per liter, faced liquidity challenges, hampering dealers’ ability to secure the necessary funds required for PMS importation.
Amidst these economic uncertainties, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero voiced his concerns and issued a strong warning. Ajaero cautioned that if oil marketers were to raise petrol prices without reaching an agreement in the ongoing negotiations, NLC members would embark on a nationwide strike without formal notice. The NLC also called on the Federal Government to intervene and address the issue of the naira’s declining value.
The backdrop of the recent removal of fuel subsidies in May heightened concerns, leading to organized labor’s initial attempts to initiate strikes due to soaring prices of goods and services. However, the Federal Government secured a court injunction from the National Industrial Court, preventing the labor force from going on strike at the time. As the nation navigates these intricate economic challenges, the question of fuel affordability remains at the forefront, impacting both everyday citizens and the broader economy.
Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) refutes rumors of impending petrol price increase, affirming commitment to affordable fuel for customers.
Oil marketers’ warning of potential petrol price surge due to fluctuating exchange rates and scarcity of foreign exchange creates economic apprehension.
Labor Unrest Looms
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) issues a warning of nationwide strike if petrol prices are raised without concluding ongoing negotiations, demanding government intervention to stabilize the naira.