Adebayo Obajemu

Contrary to recent expectation, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has that the marketers were not allowed to fix pump prices of petroleum products, particularly the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.

The agency stated this through a statement issued by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu on Sunday in Abuja, and made available to NAN.

Saidu explained that the removal of PMS price cap and implementation of a market-based pricing regime was first announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in March 2020, after which the PPPRA issued a publication announcing the regulation on the market-based pricing regime.

Saidu noted that the publication created a legal framework for the policy, adding that PPPRA will continue to advise oil marketers on the fuel pump price.

“The published regulation does not confer on marketers, the power to fix prices for the product as they deem fit. A guiding price will always 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,” he said.

He assured that the monthly guiding prices would still allow reasonable returns to operators while ensuring consumers paid fair prices in line with market reality, without being 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.

“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” Saidu stressed.

Every deregulated market, he said, needs a regulator to monitor and regulate activities and this is the role to be played by the PPPRA in the petroleum sector.

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