Operators in the downstream sector have said the pump price of gasoline might fall for the third time in barely three weeks if other operators towed the path of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to start importing the product.
The oil marketers ascribed the recent downward reviews in the price of petrol by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency to the slump in oil price at the international market.
On the contrary, top officials of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) believe that a drop in fuel price will occur when each downstream petrol importer is allowed to trade the dollar at the same rates with the NNPC.
Aminu Abdulkadir, Chair Board of Trustees, IPMAN and Group Executive, Nipco Plc said on a television programme in Abuja that “dealing with pump products is something that is not definite and that is why the PPPRA provides a band. A band is a range.
“Today, as the price is at N123.5/litre, I believe that by the time the market is totally free for marketers to import on their own, the band could still come lower than what it is by at least N5 to N8.”
Mr Abdukadir observed that the onus was on the PPPRA to provide a price band for petrol rather than decide the price.
“They (PPPRA) will always partake in determining a band and not to give a fixed price. As the price of crude oil increases, the price of petroleum products will also increase but not as sharply as in an under-deregulated market.
“Different filling stations will sell at different prices and that is the essence of freeing the market. Definitely you will not get a fixed price but as the deregulation matures, the difference in the prices of retail outlets will not be up to N1.
“By the time the industry understands the deregulation very well, you will find out that the difference between one retail outlet and the other will not be more than 50k to 80k because efficiency will come to play.”