The Federal Government on Sunday denied removing fuel price cap, an action which would have given oil marketers the freedom to determine fuel pump price.
However, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Sunday said the government had not conferred on marketers the power to fix prices for petrol as they deem fit.
PPPRA’s Executive Secretary Abdulkadir Saidu in a statement said; “rather guiding prices would be advised by the agency according to market realities.”
Saidu said the agency will monitor market trends and advise the NNPC and Oil Marketing Companies on the monthly market-based guiding price, which shall include the indicative retail price at which the product shall be sold across the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is instructive to state that no private individual or group has the mandate to fix prices of petroleum products, however the statutory regulatory body is saddled with the responsibility of advising guiding prices.
“Suffice to say that in a deregulated market, the role of a regulator in monitoring and regulating activities in the sector cannot be over-emphasized”, the PPPRA executive secretary said. He said: “It has come to the PPPRA’s attention that several publications in the print and electronic media have reported that the agency has removed the price cap on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), giving marketers the freedom to fix the price of the commodity and sell above the stipulated price.
“It would be recall that the removal of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) price cap and implementation of a market-based pricing regime was first announced by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in March 2020. “This was followed by PPPRA’s publication announcing the Regulation on the market-based pricing regime, thus creating a legal framework for the policy.
“The published Regulation does NOT confer on marketers the power to fix prices for the product as they deem fit, but rather guiding prices would be advised by the PPPRA according to market realities. “The Agency shall monitor market trends and advise the NNPC and Oil Marketing Companies on the monthly market-based guiding price, which shall include the indicative retail price at which the product shall be sold across the country.”
The Minister had earlier stated that the federal government will continue to monitor the price of petroleum products and advise on monthly guiding prices that guarantee reasonable returns to operators while ensuring consumers pay appropriate prices in line with market reality and are not overcharged.
The Minister, in his statement, further stressed that the government’s role in a deregulated economy was to provide, through the operation of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, a pricing mechanism to create a market-driven price regime.
The federal government had on June 1 announced a new pump price band for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) from N125.50/N123.50 per litre to N121.50/N123.50. Petroleum products marketers in the country promised to comply with the latest downstream pricing regime.