The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has apologised to Nigerians for the distress and inconvenience caused by ‘unfortunate information about the hike in fuel price.
Sylva in a statement on Friday explained that neither he nor President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the increase in the retail price of petrol to N212 per litre.
He said irrespective of the source of the information, “I want to assure you that it is completely untrue.”
Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA) in the early hours of Friday released a template showing that the new price of petrol has reached N212.6 per litre.
This sparked outrage across the country with many lamenting the effect that the increase would have on food prices and transportation in the country.
The PPRA later deleted the post which was earlier published on its website, http://pppra.gov.ng/pms-guiding-price-for-march-2021/
The statement reads in full:
Dear Nigerians, you are by now very aware of the news trending that the Federal Government has increased the price of petrol to N212.6 per litre.
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 deputises 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.
You are all aware that for the past few months the government 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 an increase in the price of PMS. It is unthinkable that the government would unilaterally abandon these discussions and act in the manner suggested by the information under reference.
Cynism and deceit has 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.
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 government 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.