Minister of States for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has on Friday disowned the increase in the price of petrol as announced by Petroleum Products Pricing Agency (PPPRA) on Thursday night.
Sylva said neither he nor President Muhammadu Buhari approved the decision to increase the retail price to N212 per litre.
The increase by the PPPRA late Thursday, contradicting the NNPC’s earlier assurance that the price of petrol would be maintained in the month of March, sparked outrage across the country Friday.
Following the increment by PPPRA, NNPC insisted its position had not changed and the PPPRA later deleted the post from its website.
In a statement released on Friday evening, Mr Sylva said the government could not have lied and called the PPPRA announcement “completely untrue”.
He apologised for “distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused.”
Read his full statement below:
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.
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