Lagos — The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA has been silent over the much anticipated monthly price review of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS popularly known as petrol.
The last review saw prices fixed at a window of between N123.5 and N125/litre with next new price announcement expected on April 30.
Some Nigerians had criticised the static price despite the crash in oil prices internationally- Brent as at Sunday was sold for $26 per barrel having sold at $16 some weeks back. On March 19, 2020, following government’s approval of the adjustment, petrol price was slashed from N145 to N125/litre.
It was later reduced to N123.5 after a meeting with oil marketers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other stakeholders on March 31, sparking debate among downstream investors who said they would run at a loss if government kept fixing prices despite claims it had libralised the sector.
“What we have in place is a market reflective pricing system. Petroleum products prices will be adjusted in line with market realities and the result is what we see presently with prices on the downward slide,” the PPPRA’s Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu said in the announcement that heralded the end of subsidy.
Saidu added, “Accordingly, price will naturally be adjusted to reflect a true picture of market fundamentals at any particular period, high or low”, however, so far, nothing has been heard from the price-fixing agency.
A source close to the matter hinted SweetcrudeReports that a new price is yet to be announced because oil marketers are still at loggerheads with PPPRA over further reduction.
We also learnt that stakeholders want the government to totally hands-off pricing if it meant what it said about deregulating the market.
“No way can you say the downstream sector has been deregulated yet PPPRA is still fixing prices. Allow the market to run on prevailing forces,” one of our sources said.
Another source told SweetcrudeReports that he doubted a new price would be announced, “anytime soon”.
“There is still controversy over the price so the center would no longer hold if there is further cut because stakeholders are sure PPPRA won’t increase price now. Who would now be made to bear the loss if price is slashed again?
That’s the reason you have not heard any marketer import product since the announcement- nobody wants to bare the loss of an unstable market”, our source said, adding that the world is currently focused to stabilising market to boost prices.