The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC says it has no plan to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, in May.

This followed the announcement by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, that the petroleum sector regulator has no plan to increase the ex-depot price of petrol in the country.

Ex-depot price is the price marketers buy products from depot owners; it determines the pump price at filling stations.

Kyari made the announcement while briefing reporters after a closed-door meeting with the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) on Monday in Abuja.

The meeting convened by the NNPC boss held amid the industrial action by the tanker drivers who had given NARTO a seven-day ultimatum to address the issues bordering on the increase of compensation for their members.

“We want to inform oil marketing companies that NNPC will not increase the pump price of PMS in May.

“I am giving the assurance and I ask Nigerians to go about their normal businesses; we have over 20 billion litres of petrol in our custody.

“Many of you are aware of this and with the assurance with tanker drivers and NUPENG, there is no need for panic buying of the product.

“Petrol will be available in all the depots in the country including NNPC dispatched depot across the country, so nobody should panic in buying the product,” he said.

As a result, the tanker drivers decided to suspend their industrial action, with a promise to resume operation.

On his part, Kyari asked the union to expedite action to ensure that fuel queues do not resurface across the country.

“On the ongoing strike by Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) associated with the ability of their employers – NARTO to increase their compensation, leading to the industrial action, this we were not able to resolve last week.

“But we have given a commitment to both NARTO and PTD that we will resolve the underlining issues within a week and come back to the table so that we’ll have a total closure around the dispute – both in terms of government’s responsibility and then the responsibility of NARTO (owners of the trucks) to the Petroleum Tanker Drivers,” he said.

We also have a robust engagement with our oil marketing partners in respect of increase in the volume product that is check in the Nigerian market.

“We have agreed to work jointly with all the security agencies to contain any possible infractions seen in our borders.

“We will work as a team to curtail this fraudulent practice with the help of the security agencies,” he said.

He added that the meeting also discussed issues on payment by Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) to oil marketing companies.

He said that all stakeholders agreed in making PMS available to marketers.

Alhaji Yusuf Orthman, NARTO President, commended the NNPC for the intervention and assured that within the next seven days, things will normalise in the adjustment of allowances of PTD.

“We have requested that they bring three persons so that we discuss the issues but that would not have been possible without this intervention.

“We hope that within the next seven days things will normalise and I want to assure Nigerians that we are committed to it,” he said.

Also, PTD president said that the strike has been suspended until the next seven days