Monday, September 5, 2016 11:00 pm
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu on Monday refuted media reports of possible increase in the prices of petroleum products in the country.
Kachikwu who was with the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Maikanti Baru, after a closed-door with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, described the reports as untrue.
Pressed on the issue by State House correspondents, he asked, “have you seen any memo to that effect?’’
On his part, Baru said that NNPC has no plan to increase the pump price of petroleum products, stressing that “there is nothing like that.’’
The GMD, however, directed the correspondents to go to the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for further clarification on the issue.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that oil marketers had indicated intention to increase prices of the products, citing continued scarcity of foreign exchange to finance importation of the products, as reason. (NAN)
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi , says that increasing fuel pump price beyond 145 Naira will translate to more hardship on Nigerians.
Abdullahi stated this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, while reacting to the recommendations by former Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The former GMDs had claimed that the current fuel price cap of N145 per litre of petrol was not in line with current economic realities and called for upward review of the price.
Abdullahi advised the Federal Government to ignore the recommendation, saying that it would not augur well for Nigerians who were already groaning under the yoke of hardship.
“Let me say that this is my personal opinion; I am not making this submission as spokesman of the senate.
“I read the newspaper report and I was disturbed, worried and I think for all intents and purposes, I’m very much disappointed.
“For crying out loud, all of these former GMDs, can they be said to be free of blame on how we got here?
“The refineries have not been working; the corporation itself has not been run transparently to the maximum benefit of Nigerian citizens.
“As far as I’m concerned, all of them that are speaking do not have the moral standpoint to even advise us on what to do because they had a hand in it.
“Maybe, they are sent to destroy this government. We will not allow them to do that because right now the President is grappling with inherited problems, which he is trying his best to change,” he said.
The lawmaker urged Nigerians to desist from offering advice that would add to the existing challenges facing the country.
He assured that the senate would re-visit the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) with a view to repositioning the petroleum industry which was a major source of revenue for the country. (NAN)