Saidu Umar
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Petrol price of N209.61, N212.61: PPPRA boss goofs, call for his sack mounts

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The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Abdulkadir Saidu Umar, has received a bashing from stakeholders for announcing a retail petrol price of between N209.61 and N212.61 on Friday.

The price adjustment had thrown the country into chaos as long queues of vehicles immediately resurfaced at filling stations across the country with marketers adjusting their pumps to the “new prices’’.

The situation had created artificial scarcity of the commodity while the madness rages.

The swipes came from the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders while the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government through the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva disowned the price template by the PPPRA.

PPPRA had on late Thursday in its monthly template announced that landing cost for petrol per litre is N189.61 with the ex-depot price standing at N206.42 per litre.

The Federal Government had restated that it was not planning to announce price adjustment for petrol for March, a position that was confirmed by the NNPC.

It said the increase will come after the conclusion of the ongoing negotiation between the government and the organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable price framework that will not cause hardship for ordinary Nigerians.

Sylva said:“Irrespective of the source of that information, I want to assure you that it is completely untrue. Neither Mr. President who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, nor my humble self who deputize for him as Minister of State, has approved that the pump price of petrol should be increased by one naira.

“It would be a great disservice to the Nigerian people for the government to approve an upward price adjustment when talks are currently ongoing with the Nigerian Labour Congress
to arrive at a reasonable price regime for the country.

“Dear Nigerians, you are by now very aware of the news trending that the Federal Government has increased the price of petrol to N212.6 per liter.

“I would, therefore. urge you to disregard this misleading information.

“You are all aware that for the past few months, the Government has been in consultation with Organized Labour to find the least painful option to respond to the global rise in the price of crude, which in turn has inevitably led to increase in the price of PMS.’’

“It is unthinkable that government would unilaterally abandon these discussions and act in the manner suggested by the information under reference,’’ Sylva said in a statement personally signed by him and obtained by Persecondnews.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria said no such agreement was reached with the PPPRA on price adjustment, pointing out that discussion was ongoing between stakeholders and the government over the issue.

“The new price came to us as a shock. I was surprised when I heard the news of the price increase by PPPRA this morning.

“We have not agreed on such price increase and the association cannot give order to the marketers for price increase until it is agreed upon,’’ the Vice-President of IPMAN, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi said.

A motorist, Mr Adekola Ojo, told Persecondnews that the PPPRA boss should be suspended from office and investigation carried out who authorize the release of the template.

“If it is embarrassing to the Federal Government and PPPRA did not get presidential approval, then somebody should be punished for causing Nigerians and the economy to panic.

“Since the government said petrol has been deregulated and subsidy removed last year June. It stands to reason that the agency should have been scrapped,’’ he said.

The manager of a retail outlet of one of the major marketers, Mr Chinedu Obinna, expressed disappointment at what he called poor coordination of business of government particularly on sensitive issue like petrol pricing.

He urged government to streamline authorities in the sector so that Nigerians will know who should announce price adjustment.

A politician, who did not want to be identified, said raising the pump price from N165 and N170 respectively to N212 per litre would worsen the economic situation and increase inflation in the country.

According to him, no matter how little the government should still subsidize cost of petrol since the refineries are not working.

 

“It will cause inflation and affect prices of goods and services particularly food items.’’

 

However, following the outrage that trailed the template, PPPRA deleted the information from its website and reversed the price adjustment.

Saidu had in a statement signed by him said that the price of petrol would remain at the current price of N164 per litre.

He said: “Please be informed that published prices are only indicative of current market trends.

“The guiding rrices posted on the PPPRA’s website is only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in pump price of PMS.

“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.

“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 over all 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,” the PPPRA boss said.

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