The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has apologised to Nigerians over the increase in the price of petrol as announced earlier late Thursday night by the Petroleum Products Pricing Agency, PPPRA.
Explaining that neither he nor President Muhammadu Buhari had approved increase in the retail price of petrol to N212 per litre, Sylva, in a statement on Friday, described the PPPRA announcement as “completely untrue,” and apologised for “distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused.”
The PPPRA increased the price of petrol late Thursday as against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporaton, NNPC’s earlier assurance that the price of petrol would be maintained.
This hike in fuel price sparked outrage across the country on Friday.
The NNPC had insisted its position on fuel price regime had not changed and the PPPRA later deleted the post from its website.
Sylva’s full statement:
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 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 government has been in consultation with organised 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 government 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 organised 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.
Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.