The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday advised the Federal Government against increasing pump price of petrol.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja said any contemplation to increase pump price of petrol to N212 would worsen the economic and social situations of Nigerians.
This was in reaction to a debunk report that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulation Agency (PPPRA) on Thursday night released a template that a litre of fuel would now be sold for prices ranging from N209 to N212 per litre for March.
Ologbondiyan said that the N212 per liter reportedly contemplated in the March pricing template was not in the best interest of Nigerians.
“It is a barefaced fact that there is no way that Nigerians can survive such hike in fuel price, which will worsen the already agonizing economic situation in the country.
“Our party maintains that with an honest and transparent administration of our national production capacity and potentialities, domestic price of fuel should not exceed N70 per liter.”
Ologbondiyan said any increase in fuel price would be unacceptable with over 100 million citizens living in abject poverty, 23 per cent unemployment rate and many more living below N500 a day.
He advised government to save the nation by ending every contemplation of fuel price increase, particularly at the time Nigerians were expecting a downward review in prices.
The Federal Government had assured Nigerians that there would be no increment in the pump price of petroleum until conclusion of consultation with Organised Labour.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, gave the assurance while addressing newsmen on Friday in Lagos on alleged increased to N212.61 per litre.
He said: ”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 myself who deputise for him as minister of state has approved that petrol price should be increased by one naira.
“I therefore urge you to disregard this misleading information.”
On his part, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, National Public Relations, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), advised the public to stop panic buying, saying there was enough stock and the price has not changed.
Yakubu urged people to ignore the rumours going the rounds, while advising all their marketers to continue selling at the official price.
Also, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulation Agency (PPPRA) said the March guiding prices posted on its website did not translate to increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.
The PPPRA Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, in a statement on Friday, said the attention of the PPPRA has been drawn to speculations about the increased pump price of PMS.
“The PPPRA by this release wishes to state clearly that the guiding prices posted on our website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in pump price of PMS.
“However, publications by the media to this effect have been misconstrued and thus misleading,’’ he said.
He said that the introduction of the market-based pricing regime for PMS Regulation 2020 was gazetted by the Federal Government.
According to him, based on this regulation, prices are expected to be determined by market realities in line with the dictates of market forces.