In a move signalling possible deregulation of the downstream sector, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, yesterday, said that there is the possibility of a new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol on April 1, noting that the new N125 per litre pump price will last till the end of March 2020.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Mr. Abdulkadir Saidu, stated that the agency would be undertaking a review of PMS price and would announce a new price for the commodity, April 1, 2020, if there is a change in the parameters used in determining the current price.
He noted that the price announced Wednesday, March 18, 2020, would apply till March 31, 2020 and a new price might come into effect after the review, adding that henceforth, PPPRA would be undertaking a review of petroleum products prices on a monthly basis.
He said: "The approved price of N125 per litre comes into effect from today, which is going to be what we would apply till the end of the month. Then, from the 1st of April, PPPRA will be modulating a monthly price of petroleum products based on the market fundamentals. What the new pricing regime is going to be doing is going to be looking at the actual market price. It is going to be a reflection of what the market is doing.
"The way the market is going, this is N125 today, if by the end of March, the prices go below where they are today, then the Nigerian populace will be expected to pay less than N125. It is going to be a reflection of what the market is doing in any particular period.
"What we are trying to say is that going forward, the price will be a reflection of what the international market is doing. Normally, crude oil price determines the product price that we pay. Therefore, if the crude oil price moves, definitely, it is going to affect the price of PMS. If it goes down, Nigeria will pay lower."
He berated oil marketers who were yet to comply with the new price directive and also faulted claims by the marketers that they were not consulted before the review was undertaken.
Saidu, however, said that the Federal Government would continue to engage with the oil marketers, noting that a meeting had been scheduled with representatives of the oil marketing companies, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN; Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN; and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA.
He said: "Usually this is not the first time that government has changed price in the country. Any time there is price change, and there is tendency that these kinds of different position will come up, marketers usually want to take advantage of price increase. When there is price increase, everybody will jump and start selling at the increased price, but when you start selling at reduced price, everybody will start complaining," he stated.