The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), an umbrella body of petroleum products marketers in the country, has advised against 'group fixing' of petrol price by marketers associations.
The Chairman of MOMAN and Managing Director of 11Plc (formerly Mobil), Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, gave the advice in a chat with THISDAY, following the announcement of the new ex-depot petrol price by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had last Friday, announced in a circular to marketers that the ex-depot price had changed from N147. 67 to now N155.17, a move that triggered the hike in petrol pump price to around N170 per litre.
Following the rise in the ex-depot petrol price, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), announced, after its emergency national executive committee's meeting, that all marketers under its cartel should sell petrol between N168 and N170 per litre.
However, condemning any group fixing of petrol pump price, Oyebanji said in a deregulated environment, there should be no joint price fixing.
He said rather than group fixing of petrol price, each marketer should be allowed to fix its price after factoring in the ex-depot price and its margin in line with the template provided by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA).
According to him, MOMAN would not force its members to sell petrol at any joint fixed price as such was not in consonant with the spirit of free markets.
He said: "As you know, we have advocated that in a deregulated environment, there should be no joint price fixing. We should actually be condemning what those other groups are doing.
"However, the answer to your question is that for MOMAN, my expectation is that members using the ex-depot price as base and adding the various margins in the PPPRA template, will come up with their individual prices.
"This is in the spirit of free markets and competition. We cannot discuss any pricing issues among ourselves. This is part of the self-regulation we have been advocating in recent fora."