Uche Cecil Izuora
The Federal Government in a bid to stave off panic buying of petrol has reassured that it will still have to bear cost of bridging petrol to ensure its availability across the country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Engr Farouk Ahmed, who gave the assurance at the weekend explained that the Authority will also offset all the bridging verified claims by all the stakeholders in the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country.
Ahmed, also disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has stopped charging in dollars for their shipping services, as he equally assured petroleum tanker drivers and other stakeholders that the agency would continue the payment of bridging rate to ensure effective distribution of products nationwide.
In addition the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are expected to commence charging for their services in Naira soon .
This is expected to happen soon following serious engagement with the Ministry of Transportation to get necessary approval.
He appealed to indebted marketers that collect bridging levies provided for in the pricing template to remit such deductions to enable the Authority pay outstanding claims.
He reassured that the current petrol pump price would remain for now with the expected high rate of travels during the festive period, adding that there would be no price increase in the immediate future.
“I will like to assure everybody that it is mere speculation. There will be no increase in the pump price, not in the near future. This is peak consumption period for Nigerians. Our focus must be on the average Nigerian who is on the street.
“People will be travelling now and so you don’t increase pump price arbitrarily like that. So the pump price will be maintained and Nigerians should feel free to travel”, he said.