The Minister of States for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva has rejected the increase in the price of petrol as announced earlier by the Petroleum Products Pricing Agency (PPPRA).
Recall that after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation restated that the price of petrol has not been increased following an outcry the report incited, the PPPRA deleted the post from its website.
In a statement released later on Friday March 15, Sylva averred that neither he nor President Buhari who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources have approved that the pump price of petrol be increased by one naira.
He apologised for “distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused.” The statement read;
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.
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.
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. 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.