By Levinus Nwabughiogu, with agency reports
ABUJA— THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said, yesterday, that there was no plan to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, otherwise called petrol.
This came as crude oil prices went up, yesterday, rising above $45 a barrel as the president of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, gave market assurance of a September rise.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja.
The Federal Government had in May this year, deregulated the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by removing subsidy.
The development saw the pump price of fuel geometrically rising from N86.50k to N145 which is the current price,
Speaking to journalists, Baru said NNPC had no mandate from the government to increase the price.
He said there was over 1.4 billion litres of petrol on ground and that there was no reason for any anticipated increment, saying: “I have not been directed to increase pump price, even the other price was based on recommendations from the regulated body.”
Oil price rises to $45
Mohammad Al-Sada, who also doubles as Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry, said on Monday morning that higher oil demand was expected in the third and fourth quarters, leading to higher prices.
He added that since February this year, the oil price had experienced a steady improvement, following a decline in crude oil production, supply outages and a decrease in oil inventories, while the global demand for oil improved in that period.
After Al-Sada’s assurance, Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, surged from $42 to $45.33 a barrel, nearly a three percent increase.