Not withstanding a new price template of N212.6 per liter of petrol by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the Federal Government says it is not planning to raise petrol price in March.
Also confirming the government’s position, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) ruled out any possible increase for now.
The PPPRA had in its monthly template released late on March 11 advised that the retail price of petrol should sell between N209.61 and N212.61.
The landing cost for petrol per litre was put at N189.61 shooting up the ex-depot price to N206.42 per litre.
Investigation shows that while the template is used to advise the government on what the market price of fuel should be, the NNPC being the sole importer of petroleum products for now, is currently bearing the price burden.
It was also learnt that scarcity of foreign exchange has made it difficult for major marketers to import products, thereby making NNPC the sole importer and marketer of last resort in line with its statutory functions.
With the price differentials being borne by NNPC, Nigerians will continue to buy petrol at the current price of N164 and N170 per litre in March.
With the deregulation of the downstream sector, the price of petrol had risen from N121.50 to N123.50 per litre in June, to N140.80-N143.80 in July, N148-N150 in August, N158-N162 in September and N163 in November.
Since November 2020, petrol has remained unchanged despite an increase in crude oil price in the international market.
Persecondnews recalls that while fuel subsidy was removed in June 2020, the price of crude oil was about $45 per barrel.
But by March 11, the price of crude oil hit a 13-month high of about $70 per barrel, far higher than the 2021 Federal Government budget benchmark price of $40 per barrel.
While expectations are high that there would be more revenue from crude oil sales by the NNPC for the government, the adverse effect would be on the imported price of crude oil.
But the NNPC said that it has no plan to increase the price of fuel as speculated by stakeholders.
The corporation said that despite the rise in the price of crude oil in the international market, there is no possibility that there would be an increment in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) in March.
NNPC is waiting for conclusion of the ongoing negotiation and dialogue between the organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable price framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.
Meanwhile, NNPC has restated that has enough stock of petrol for about 40 days.