Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, on Saturday, warned residents of the South-East states to stop panic buy.
IPMAN said there’s no plan by the Federal Government to increase fuel pump price.
The association said members of the public should disregard the alarm and speculations about increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol.
Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot, Chinedu Anyaso, issued the warning in Awka, Anambra State, while speaking with reporters.
Anyaso disclosed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, being the sole importer of the product, had not in anyway informed marketers of any intending increase in price, hence the need for the people to disregard the speculations on ‘social media’.
He said, “The panic may have arisen from a calculation of downward trend of Naira in exchange with the dollar.”
The IPMAN boss reassured the people that there was no plan by marketers to jack up the cost of petrol since there was no announcement from the sole importer of the product.
He said contrary to media reports, the Port Harcourt refinery was yet to come on stream at the moment.
He explained that the information made available to IPMAN indicated that the mechanical aspect of the 60,000 barrel capacity PH refinery had been done, while work was still in progress on other aspects.
He noted, “That does not mean it has come on stream. We are still anticipating that it will start but right now it has not started.”
On Dangote refinery, Anyaso, said the report was that the company had started receiving crude oil products from the NNPCL, but had yet to start operations.
He added, “If there is any refined product, we will know because we are the middlemen that buy and sell to end users.
“I believe strongly that Dangote refinery with its capacity of 650, 000 barrels per day will help to bring down the price of fuel in the country.”
The IPMAN chairman, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to consider issuing licences to players in the industry as such move would make it competitive, while forcing down the price nationwide.
He said, “There is no need for panic buying as there is enough product being made available to marketers at different depots by the NNPCL.
“Let Nigerians ignore the speculations and avoid panic buying.”