The queues for petrol has grown worse in some parts of the country following the shutdown of many filling stations amid heightened expectations of an increase in the pump price of the product.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had on February 9 said Nigerians should prepare for the pain associated with the increase in crude oil price.
The international oil price, Brent crude, rose by more than 14 per cent in February as it closed at $64.42 per barrel, up from $56.42 per barrel at the start of the month.
Motorists besieged the few outlets selling petrol that were open for business in Abuja, Nasarawa, Niger and Borno states, while some others that had dispensed petrol the previous day, locked up.
Two weeks ago, queues of motorists were seen in many locations after oil marketers raised concerns about petrol pricing by depot owners and how this affected petroleum products supply.
However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has ruled out any increment in the depot price of petrol in March, 2021.
A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the Corporation was not contemplating any raise in the 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.
NNPC also cautioned petroleum products marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.
The Corporation stated that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying.
It further called 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.