By PHILIP IKPONKO, Abuja –
Security agencies have been called upon to allow petroleum products tanker drivers free movement despite the lockdown ordered in some parts of the country.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), made the appeal in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr Jennie Obatero, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The call came on the heels of the announcement by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) of a further reduction of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol from N125 to N123.50k per litre.
The agency made the announcement in a statement singed by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, in Abuja on Tuesday night.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 29, in a national broadcast announced a lockdown order, effective 11pm March 30 in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, to contain spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
Obateru said the exemption granted by the President to certain categories of essential workers covered the operations of petroleum products tanker drivers.
He said that the Federal Government counted on the support of the law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure smooth distribution of petroleum products across the nooks and crannies of the country during the period of the restriction.
The spokesperson said that NNPC held over 2.6 billion litres of petrol; enough to last the period of the lockdown and beyond.
He urged motorists not to engage in panic buying.
According to Saidu, “PPPRA in line with the government approval for a monthly review of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump price, hereby announces Guiding PMS pump price of N123.50 per Litre.
“The Guiding price which becomes effective April 1 2020, shall apply at all retail outlets nationwide for the month of April, 2020.”
He added that PPPRA and other relevant regulatory agencies would continue to monitor compliance to extant regulations for a sustainable downstream petroleum sector.
Saidu noted that members of the public and all Oil Marketing Companies are to be guided accordingly.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the agency had on March 18 reduced the pump price of PMS from N145.00 to N125.00.
It noted that from April 1, it would start a new pricing modulation that would reflect the global market fundamental.
(with additional report from NAN)