PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met behind closed-doors with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and Managing Director of the National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, in the Presidential Villa. The meeting came 48 hours after former GMDs of the Corporation, called for an upward review of the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, saying the current of N145 per litre was not in line with current economic realities. The former GMDs reached this decision at a one-day meeting called by Baru, where they argued that the current price cap of N145 per litre is not in line with the liberalization policy especially with the foreign exchange rate and other price determining components such as crude cost, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, charges, among others, remaining uncapped. It had also stated that the market was to be driven by the factors of demand and supply, as it was now largely in the hands of private sector players. Baru after meeting with President Buhari,yesterday refused to take questions from State House correspondents who wanted to know if another fuel price increase was on the way. The NNPC GMD who refused to stop and take questions, directed reporters to Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, for anything on fuel increase. When asked if fuel hike was on the way he said, “there is nothing like that. Go to PPPRA”, walking off briskly. Kachikwu also parried questions when he emerged few minutes after 4p.m, he directed reporters to Baru. When pressed further on possible fuel hike he said, “there no more to that effect”. The Federal Government liberalised the downstream sector of the petroleum industry on May 11, 2016, and announced an increase in the pump prices of petrol from N86 and N86.5 per litre to between N135 and N145 per litre
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