The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Sunday retracted its earlier statement removing price cap of petrol and giving marketers the leeway to fix the price of the commodity and sell following the deregulation of the downstream sector.
PPPRA backtracked, saying the publication that the agency had removed the price cap of PMS, giving marketers the freedom to fix the price of the commodity and sell above the stipulated price, is not correct.
It said it will continue to “advise’’ oil marketers on the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol.
“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 said in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Alhaji Abdulkadir Saidu, in Abuja.
Persecondnews had reported that PPPRA announced the removal of price cap and gave marketers the leeway to fix the pump price and sell to motorists and the consuming public following the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government.
According to him, marketers are not allowed to fix prices of products.
He recalled 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.
This was followed by PPPRA’s publication announcing the regulation on the market-based pricing regime, thus creating a legal framework for the policy, Saidu explained.
“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.”
Saidu, quoting Sylva, said the Federal Government would continue to monitor the price of petroleum products and advise on monthly guiding prices that guaranteed reasonable returns to operators while ensuring consumers paid appropriate prices in line with market reality, and were not overcharged.
He clarified: “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.
“It is the statutory regulatory body that is saddled with the responsibility of advising guiding prices. In a deregulated market, the role of a regulator in monitoring and regulating activities in the sector cannot be over-emphasized.’’