Reacting to the observed silence from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), oil marketers have gone ahead to set new pump prices (between N148 and N150/litre), shooting well above the initial market price.
According to oil marketers and workers, the regulatory agency had left the industry confused, registering its displeasure on what it called an attempt to “deregulate” the downstream petroleum sector.
In a statement credited to the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), the decision of the agency to stay silent was uncalled for, especially “when the country is still relying on imports for refined products.”
As at the time of this report, the PPPRA was yet to issue a new guiding retail petrol price for the month of August as its practice on monthly bases.
PPPRA, since its inauguration, has been serving as an agency to regulate the oil sector especially in areas of pricing, ensuring marketers sell their commodities at a fair market price to the populace.
When crude oil price dropped in March, for instance, the agency had intervened, ordering marketers to sell at a fair price in order to make up for losses during market exchanges.
However, in July, pump price went up, an instruction from the agency when the market situation did not get better. In July, marketers sold for N140.80 to N143.80 per litre, up from N121.50 to N123.50 per litre in June.
According to oil market experts, PPPRA’s refusal to publish a new pump price for August had led to the current hike. They linked the new hike in ex-depot price by the agency to the increase.
On Tuesday, PPPRA, in a special press release, had published a new ex-depot price, which was up by N6, while going completely silent on pump price, what marketers could have taken as guide.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, 11Plc, Tunji Oyebanji, urged the agency to clear the confusion with a public statement on pump price.
He said: “There is a need for some clarity. If we are to fix the price of the product, we should be told so.
“There is a lot of confusion and people are not clear as to the direction. All we have is silence,” he added.
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