The oil sector regulator explains why the government will ignore the rise of crude oil prices globally.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says there will be no increase in pump price of petrol in the country in February despite the rise in the price of crude oil in the international market.
The NNPC said this in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, on Thursday.
The response came amidst reports of possible increase in the price of petrol as crude oil price surged in the last one week in the international market.
Oil prices rallied again on Thursday to 13-month highs as concerns a rare cold snap in Texas could disrupt U.S. crude output for days or even weeks prompted fresh buying, Reuters reported.
Brent crude climbed 1.4 per cent to $65.23 a barrel by 0524 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 1.1 per cent to $61.80 a barrel.
The Nigerian government in March 2020 began monthly adjustment of pump prices of fuel, on its claim of removing subsidies to allow market forces determine prices.
But the practice has not been transparent amidst concerns the government still regulates local fuel prices.
The NNPC statement said the decision not to increase the price this month is to allow "ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship, to be concluded."
"NNPC urged petroleum marketers not to engage in hoarding of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol)in order not to create artificial scarcity & unnecessary hardship for Nigerians while giving assurance that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for about 40 days," the statement said.
It further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.