The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), yesterday recommended an upward review in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol to between N140.80 and N143.80 from N121.50
In making the proposal, the PPPRA said “Please recall the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which petroleum marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail stations, based on the existing price regime.
“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80 – N143.80/litre for the month of July 2020.”
PPPRA said the new ex-depot price includes the statutory charges of bridging fund, marine transport average, national transport allowance (NTA) and the administrative charges.
The agency also advised all petroleum marketers to operate with the price band advised by the agency.
The Federal Government, had in March, announced that the retail price of petrol would be adjusted monthly to reflect realities in the global crude oil market.
The pump price was fixed at N125 per litre in March and was reviewed downwards in April to N123.50.
In May, only the ex-depot price was reviewed downwards to N108 and retail price was adjusted to N121.50 and N123.50 in June. But the President Consumers Rights Advocacy Group, Mr. Adeola Ogunbanjo, has described the latest hike as a decision capable of impoverishing more Nigerians and which would be resisted.
He said at a time Nigerians were expecting palliatives in various forms from the government, hiking petrol price will further put their purchasing power under pressure.
Ogunbanjo took a swipe at the Federal Government, saying its decision to suspend subsidy could be described as deregulation through the backdoor.
He questioned, government’s resolve to continue to regulate a sector it had subtly deregulated.
‘‘Why can’t government allow market forces to determine the price of fuel? This is not acceptable and consumers will not allow this to sail through.
However, the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, said the decision was a welcome development compared to previous hikes.
Meanwhile, professor of the Capital Market and former Imo State Finance Commissioner, Prof Uche Uwaleke described the hike in petrol price from N123.50k/litre to a price band of N140.80 to N143.80 as an indication that the Federal Government was ready to gradually exit the flawed and corruption-ridden fuel subsidy regime.
He told Daily Sun that exiting the opaque subsidy regime was necessary in view of plummeting government revenue and the pressure on government finances occasioned by COVID-19