The recent increase in the bridging allowance to transporters from N6.20 to N7.20 per litre will not lead to a rise in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, from the prevailing N145 per litre, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said.
Making the clarification in Abuja on Wednesday, the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr. Henry Obih, said there was no plan by the government or any of its agencies to increase the pump price of petrol above N145 per litre.
He explained that the rise in the bridging cost was achieved after an adjustment was made in the lightering expenses from N4 to N3 per litre, and the difference used to compensate for the cost of bridging in the same template.
The bridging allowance refers to the cost element built into the products’ pricing template to ensure a uniform price of petrol across the country, while lightering expenses involve charges for moving products to depot areas from mother vessels by light vessels due to the inability of the former to berth in shallow water depth.
Obih was quoted in a statement by the corporation’s spokesperson, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, as saying, “What happened in a simple language is a rebalancing of the margins allowed and approved for stakeholders. So what the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency did was to take N1 from lightering expenses and add same to the bridging allowance. That is how we arrived at N7.20. Therefore, PMS remains at the ceiling of N145 per litre.”
On the availability of products, the COO said as of Wednesday, the country had 1.3 billion litres of petrol, which translated to an inventory of 36 days.
“What this means is that even if we stop importation or refining of petrol right now, we have enough products in-country to provide for the needs of every Nigerian for a period of 36 days,” he explained.
Obih noted that the supply availability was bolstered by the production of petrol from the refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.
“There is absolutely no risk of shortage in supply as we also continue to import to support the production from the refineries. We have informed the Department of Petroleum Resources to enforce the prevailing N145 per litre price regime and also ensure that every service station that has fuel is selling to the public,” he said.