Minister’s Statement On Petrol Hike Is Self-Delusion, PDP Legal Adviser

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The Peoples Democratic Party National Legal adviser, Emmanuel Enoidem, has expressed doubt over the statement that neither Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari nor Timipre Sylva knew about the increased price of petroleum product experienced all over Nigeria.

Buhari doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources while Sylva is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Sylva in a statement entitled: Nigerian govt apologises, rejects petrol price hike by PPPRA has stated Friday, ”Dear Nigerians, you are by now very aware of the news trending that the federal govt has increased the price of petrol to N212.6 per liter.

”Irrespective of the source of that information, I want to assure you that it is completely untrue.

”Neither Mr. President who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, nor my humble self who deputise for him as Minister of State, has approved that the pump price of petrol should be increased by one naira. I would therefore urge you to disregard this misleading information.’’

Mr. Enoidem in Sensor Newspaper Whatsapp group wrote ”I thought this statement is supposed to come from the Minister of State for Petroleum,’’ querying ‘’Why is he copying himself. Confused govt.’’

According to him, ”Such a sensitive thing as increase in the pump price of any petroleum product will be carried out without the knowledge and imprimatur of the President who is the Minister of Petroleum or the Minister of State for petroleum.

”This is either abject self delusion or a convoluted cluelessness which is the hallmark of the administration,’’ the PDP stalwart added.

PMS that was sold at NN175 per litre approved pump price has gone up to N200 to N250 per litre at different petrol stations in the country owing to panicked buying leading to with long queues seen at some filling stations while some stations shut down business.

Sylva’s Statement

Mr. Sylva had stated ”You are all aware that for the past few months the govt has been in consultation with organized labour to find the least painful option to respond to the global rise in the price of crude, which in turn has inevitably led to increase in the price of PMS. It is unthinkable that govt would unilaterally abandon these discussions and act in the manner suggested by the information under reference.

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”Cynicism and deceit have never been the trademark of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

”I would like to equally assure you that the engagement with organized labour and other stakeholders will continue even as the calculations to arrive at a reasonable price regime are being done; all in good faith, and you will be availed of the final outcome at the appropriate time.’’

The Minister noted ”Until then, all marketers are strongly advised to maintain the current pump price of PMS before the emergence of this unfortunate information. Those who may want to take advantage of this unfortunate misinformation to extort Nigerians should not give in to such temptation as there are regulatory mechanisms that govt can enforce to protect its citizens.

”In conclusion, I want to sincerely apologise to all Nigerians for any distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused,’’ he pointed out.

PPRA’s Stand

However, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory, PPRA, has made a U-turn and deleted the earlier template released by the body declaring that the new price of petrol is N212.16 per liter.

PPPRA deleted the published template following the National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC insists that there won’t be an increase in the petroleum product’s ex-depot price.

The now-deleted template state that the petrol pump price would now be sold at N2019.61 at a lower retail price and N212,61 at an upper band per liter which most Nigeria uses.

The expected ex-depot price, as seen in the template, is N206.42, while the landing cost is N189.61. The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the NNPC to marketers at the depots.

According to the template, the ex-depot price would be N206.42, while the landing cost would be N189.61.

The March template shows that the landing cost of petrol per liter is N189.61, while the ex-depot price stands at N206.42 per liter.

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But the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency made a U-turn and deleted the template as of 10:30 a.m; on Friday on their website, with the page showing ”Page not found 404′, when newsmen searched for the page on their website.