Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),

According to the NNPC's spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, Baru has flown back to Nigeria to address a "matter of urgent national importance".

According to Ughamadu, before leaving London, Baru had assured Nigerians that there was no need to panic as there's enough fuel to go around for the festive period.

He said, "For the umpteenth time, I wish to call on all Nigerians to stop panic buying. We have said times without number that NNPC has sufficient products to cater for the needs of all consumers."

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Ughamadu's statement read, "Earlier yesterday, NNPC informed Nigerians that there was no plan whatsoever to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide.

"The NNPC in a release said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre have not changed noting that the Corporation has enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.

"While assuring that the Corporation has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond, the NNPC enjoined motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike as reported in some news platforms.

"The Corporation also noted that its downstream subsidiary companies namely the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and NNPC Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation during the yuletide period and beyond."

The GMD had been due to be awarded the Forbes Oil & Gas Man of the Year Award 2017 on Tuesday