Nigerians misconstrue N212.61 per litre new petrol price – FG
Abiodun OBA, Tayo AFOLABI, Bisi ABASS
The Federal Government, has appealed to Nigerians over the latest N212.61 petrol price confusion in the country.
Speaking at the groundbreaking for the Rungas composite cylinder manufacturing plant in Alaro City Free Zone, Epe, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipreye Sylva, urged Nigerians to disregard the increase, explaining that it was a mix-up.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, has declared that its publication of monthly template, does not amount to increasing the price of petroleum products, as such increases are supposed to be determined by market forces, under the current deregulation of the sector.
In a statement, Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, stated: “The attention of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been drawn to speculations about the increased pump price of PMS.
“The PPPRA by this release wishes to state clearly that the Guiding Prices posted on our website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to an increase in the pump price of PMS. However, publications by the media to this effect have been misconstrued and thus misleading.
“The Agency wishes to remind the general public of the introduction of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 as gazetted by the Federal Government. Based on this regulation, prices are expected to be determined by market realities in line with the dictates of market forces.”
He stated: “One of the conditions for the implementation of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 is the monthly release of Guiding Price to reflect current market fundamentals.
“The PPPRA in line with its mandate to maintain constant surveillance overall key indices relevant to pricing policy, monitors market trends on a daily basis to determine Guiding Prices.
“The Agency is not unaware of the challenges with the supply of PMS due to some concerns leading NNPC to be the sole importer of PMS. PPPRA is also mindful of the current discussion going on between the government and the Organised Labour on the deregulation policy. While consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing, PPPRA does not fix or announce prices and therefore there is no price increase. The current PMS price is being maintained while consultations are being concluded.”
He added: “Even though market fundamentals for PMS in the past few months indicated upward price trends, the pump price has remained the same and we are currently monitoring the situation across retail outlets nationwide. While assuring the public of adequate products supply as the average PMS Day-Sufficiency as of March 11, 2021, is over 35 days, the PPPRA pledges to continue to perform its statutory function in ensuring that the downstream sector remains vibrant as well as support both government and members of the public.”
Earlier on The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) said there is no hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol.
The groups confirmed the development to the press on Friday in Lagos while reacting to reports that the price of PMS has been increased to N212.61 per litre.
Currently, petrol sells at N162 and N165 per litre at most filling stations across the country.
Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, IPMAN said marketers had received communication from NNPC that there would not be any price increment until the government and organized labour concluded their deliberations.
“There is no increment. Government is still talking with labour. What we are even concerned about is total deregulation of the market.
“There are other alternative sources of energy to PMS and we cannot continue to focus all our attention only on that product.
Also commenting, Mr Clement Isong, the Executive Secretary, MOMAN, said the association had received communication from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that there should be no price increment for PMS.
Isong said, “NNPC has told us that they will not increase prices in March. If you recall, they have made a statement on that earlier and have reconfirmed to us that there is no increment.
“They have also put it out on their social media handles.’’
According to him, the queue noticed at filling stations in some states of the country in recent weeks is due to speculation that there will be a price increase.
“What NNPC did was to take out the speculation by giving assurance that price will not go up in March and that killed the queue and demand went down.
“What they have done again this morning is to take out the speculation out of the market. They always have enough products,’’ he said.
Isong added that MOMAN had advised its members to continue retailing with the old price regime.
Recall that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had insisted that there is no increment in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol this month.
In a short statement released Friday morning, NNPC confirmed that despite a template released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency(PPPRA), that the new price of petrol has reached N212.6 per litre, there will be no increase in retail price of the product.
The new price, according to the PPPRA’s PMS guiding price, released to stakeholders, is supposed to commence from March 1st and run till March 31st, 2021.
However, the fact that the price of the commodity is still been sold at an average of N170 in petrol stations across the country, meant that the Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is spending an average of N42 to subsidize a litre of the commodity for Nigerians.
The PPPRA confirmed that fuel subsidy actually officially returned in February 2021, as according to the downstream oil sector regulator, the actual pump price of PMS for February was between N183.74 and N186.74 per litre, meaning that the Federal Government paid an average of N16 per litre for PMS in the month.
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