The petrol subsidy, which gulps a trillion naira yearly, is gone for good says Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA).With this, the federal government will no longer issue price bands for pump prices of petroleum products and marketers are now allowed to fix their prices.
Earlier in the year, the government, through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, commenced petrol prices regimes where pump price of petrol will be issued monthly. It released petrol price bands for about three months although some operators faulted the decision as they claimed it did not speak well of a deregulated downstream oil sector.
The PPPRA, however, did not issue price guidelines for the months of August and September but declared on Tuesday that it would not provide such guiding prices anymore, adding that full deregulation was now in force.
Responding to questions from journalists during a briefing at the headquarters of the agency, the Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, stated that going forward, petrol price would be determined by the forces of demand and supply and the international cost of crude oil.
He, however, noted that the role of the agency would be to ensure that oil marketers do not profiteer, as every petrol dealer was, henceforth, free to source for the product and fix their prices.
“This, however, must be in accordance with our code of conduct because as the regulator, it is our duty to protect the consumer and operators must abide by our codes,” Saidu stated.
The PPPRA boss, who was represented by the agency’s General Manager, Administration and Human Resources, Victor Shidok, also confirmed media reports that oil marketers were not importing petrol because of the scarcity of foreign exchange.
He stated that petrol importation into Nigeria was solely done by the Pipelines Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Saidu said the price of petrol was also dependent on where the importer sourced the product from, adding that the cost of the commodity had been rising due to this despite the seeming stability in crude oil prices for about three months.