The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has said it would no longer fix price bank for marketers of petrol in Nigeria and will allow the market forces to determine prices.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr Saidu Abdulkadir, on Tuesday in Abuja during a chat with newsmen.
Represented by Mr Victor Shidok, the General Manager, Administration and Human Relations, Mr Abubakar said this decision was taken after the federal government implemented full deregulation of the downstream sector.
The PPPRA had been fixing prices of the product in the country every month and in September, the new price band forced oil marketers to sell fuel for N160 to N162 per litre, which many Nigerians have kicked against.
But in Abuja on Tuesday, the agency said the government was no longer in the business of fixing the pump price of petrol but would monitor marketers to avoid profiteering.
“If we give you the price band for this month, it is like price-fixing,” the PPPRA executive said, assuring Nigerians that better days were ahead as things would normalise with time.
He also explained why many marketers were yet to start importation of products, attributing this to non-availability of foreign exchange.
He assured Nigerians that the deregulation of the downstream oil sector was in the best interest of the country, noting that it will continue to check for those that want to misuse the policy for profiteering.
He explained that the recent increase in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was a result of the situation on the global market and forex shortage to marketers.
According to him, although the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), remained the sole importer of the product, PPPRA will continue to monitor development to check profiteering by marketers.
“The PPPRA as a regulator will continue the role of a watchdog in this deregulation regime. We will continue to maintain our role as a regulator and ensure that Nigerians are not short-changed in any way in this process.
“You know how things are globally, with the impact of COVID-19 on the global oil market. Accessing forex remains a challenge for marketers.
“We are hopeful that in a few months to come, Nigerians will understand what government is doing to stabilise the downstream sector,’’ he said.
Mr Abubakar said that the agency would continue to monitor the code of conduct that guides the operation of marketers in the industry and ensure that it was not violated.