With Nigerians groaning under acute petrol scarcity and soaring pump prices, the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) yesterday said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has enough stock that could last for 34 days.
Besides, the agency said the Federal Government has no plan to raise the pump price of the product – at least for now.
Foreclosing possible increase in petrol price, the agency assured that it would monitor the supply situation to restore normalcy.
It advised marketers to shun diversion of the product, the agency urged consumers to desist from panic buying.
The agency said: “This advisory addresses speculations on the price and availability of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). The authority wishes to inform the general public that the Federal Government has no intention of increasing the price of PMS during this period.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has imported PMS with current stock levels sufficient for 34 days.
“Consequently, marketers and the general public are advised to avoid panic buying, diversion of products, and hoarding.
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“In keeping with the authority’s responsibilities as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the authority assures the public that it would continue to monitor the supply and distribution of all petroleum products nationwide especially during this holiday season.”
But only a few retail outlets sold the product in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and there were long queues in Lagos yesterday
Stations were selling between N180 per litre and N250 per litre. Some consumers that resorted to panic buying from black marketers in plastic containers can pay N4000 for 10 litres.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said the country will stop importing petroleum products around the third quarter of 2023.
He said the refurbished Port Harcourt Refinery would be delivering 60,000 barrels per day of refined crude by the end of December.
The minister also said he still expects the new Dangote refinery to come on stream in the first quarter of next year.
Sylva said: “We’re expecting that we will actually be exiting the importation of petroleum products from maybe about third quarter next year if I was to give it a longer timeframe, but I believe that even before the third quarter next year.”
Reuters reported that Sylva pointed out that Nigeria’s production of crude had improved to about 1.3 million barrels per day from under one million barrels previously, and that the country hoped to meet its OPEC quota by May of next year.
Oil is Nigeria’s biggest export earner, but crude theft and vandalism of pipelines have cut oil and gas output, knocking the country from its spot as Africa’s top producer.
Nigeria swaps its crude for refined petroleum products but is in the process of modernising the Port Harcourt refinery at a cost of $1.5 billion.