By Udeme Akpan
Barely a few days after the crucial meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and non-OPEC members had resisted pressures to increase output, the price of Brent hit the roofs at $71.28 per barrel in the international market, due to a drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facility.
However, the price dropped to $68.66 at close of trading day when it became clear that the targeted facility was still operational.
Meanwhile, price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light also hovered at $67.69 per barrel, indicating that the government would not be under pressure to generate funds for its 2021 budget, which was based on $40 and 1.8 million barrels per day, mb/d, including Condensate.
However, many oil marketers, yesterday, continued to sell petrol at an average of N170 per litre in different parts of the country, according to Vanguard investigation.
Nevertheless, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, continued to sell the product at N162 in most filling stations visited yesterday
In a statement obtained by Vanguard, the Corporation said that it was not contemplating any raise in the pump price of petrol in March in order not to jeopardize ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.
It stated: “NNPC has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying. We, therefore, call on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR has threatened to sanction marketers caught in perpetuating various irregularities, including hoarding and profiteering.
In a statement obtained by Vanguard, Mr. Paul Osu, Head Public Affairs, said, the DPR has issued warning to marketers against hoarding of petroleum products in their outlets following the emergence of queues in retail outlets in some states of the federation
He stated that from available records, there is product sufficiency in the country and that there was no need for hoarding by any marketer.
He emphasized that the agency will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions on any outlet found wanting in this regard.
He further stated that the agency has set up a special task force to intensify surveillance and monitoring of all retail outlets and depots nationwide to check the anomaly and advised the general public against panic buying.