Kachikwu made the statement after receiving an award at an event organized by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“First, I am not aware that the NNPC has increased price. I need to look into that. It is a bit of surprise for me, because there are processes in doing this, if they have done that, it means they are doing it wrongly.
“Let me find out what the facts are,” he told journalists
According to him, the government cannot fix a new price for petrol without putting into cognizance the market variables that gave rise to the current petroleum pricing template.
“What we ought to be doing was watching the prices, making sure that they are not taking advantage of the common man; making sure that the template is respected.
“One of the things I think we had hoped to do, which we should still do, before we embark on any price increase is to work on those templates,” he said.
NNPC had been selling fuel at N141 but on Thursday, increased it by N4 to the government benchmark of N145.
The pump price of petrol in Nigeria rose to N145 per litre earlier this year after President Muhammadu Buhari removed fuel subsidy.
The government said the decision to remove the subsidy was as a result of the fall in oil price and non-availability of foreign exchange.
The government however, said the liberalization of petrol supply and distribution will allow marketers and any Nigerian entity willing to supply PMS to source for their forex and import PMS to ensure availability of products in all locations of the country.
According to the government, the resultant fuel scarcity has created an abnormal increase in price, resulting in Nigerians paying between N150 and N300 per litre as prevalent hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products have reduced volumes made available to citizens.