By Ovie Okpare
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said the Federal Government was not in hurry to adjust the price of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise called petrol to current market realities.
Sylva explained that the current pump price would be maintained until ongoing engagement with organised labour.
He said the clarification became necessary following anxiety over the recommendation of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) which called for the immediate removal of subsidy for petrol.
The NGF’s committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had recommended a petrol price of between N408.5 per litre and N380 per litre.
The committee also asked the Federal Government to immediately remove subsidy to save the nation’s worsening economy.
But Sylva in a statement personally signed by him on Friday said the government engaged stakeholders before considering adjustment in current price.
The minister also allayed fears on possible scarcity in product, stressing that the country has enough in stock for distribution across the country.
“Once again, it has become necessary to assure Nigerians that despite the huge 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 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”, the statement said.
Sylva, a former Bayelsa State governor, however cautioned marketers against engaging in activities that will jeopardize circulation of the product.
According to him, “In this regard, I would like to strongly urge petroleum products marketers not to engage in any activity that could jeopardize the seamless supply and distribution system in place.
“I also urge members of the public to avoid panic buying because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has enough stock of petroleum products to keep the nation wet.”