The Federal Government, on Sunday, said no oil marketer is allowed to fix prices of petrol, denying the reported removal of fuel cap.
Removing fuel price cap would have given oil marketers the freedom to determine fuel pump price.
Last week, there were reports in the media that fuel price cap had been removed.
But the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, on Sunday, denied that government had conferred on marketers the power and freedom to fix petrol prices.
PPPRA’s Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, said in a statement, “Rather, guiding prices would be advised by the agency according to market realities.”
He said the agency would monitor market trends and advise the NNPC and Oil Marketing Companies on the monthly market-based guiding price, which shall include the indicative retail price at which the product shall be sold across the country.
Saidu said, “For the avoidance of doubt, it is instructive to state that no private individual or group has the mandate to fix prices of petroleum products, however the statutory regulatory body is saddled with the responsibility of advising guiding prices.
“Suffice to say that in a deregulated market, the role of a regulator in monitoring and regulating activities in the sector cannot be over-emphasized.
“It has come to the PPPRA’s attention that several publications in the print and electronic media have reported that the agency has removed the price cap on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), giving marketers the freedom to fix the price of the commodity and sell above the stipulated price.
“It would be recall that the removal of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) price cap and implementation of a market-based pricing regime was first announced by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in March 2020.
“This was followed by PPPRA’s publication announcing the Regulation on the market-based pricing regime, thus creating a legal framework for the policy.
“The published Regulation does NOT confer on marketers the power to fix prices for the product as they deem fit, but rather guiding prices would be advised by the PPPRA according to market realities.
“The Agency shall monitor market trends and advise the NNPC and Oil Marketing Companies on the monthly market-based guiding price, which shall include the indicative retail price at which the product shall be sold across the country.”
Earlier, the minister had stated that the Federal government would continue to monitor the price of petroleum products and advise on monthly guiding prices that guaranteed reasonable returns to operators while ensuring consumers paid appropriate prices in line with market reality and were not overcharged.
In his statement, the minister emphasised that the government’s role in a deregulated economy was to provide, through the operations of the PPPRA, a pricing mechanism to create a market-driven price regime.
The Federal Government had on June 1 announced a new pump price band for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) from N125.50/N123.50 per litre to N121.50/N123.50.
Petroleum products marketers in the country promised to comply with the latest downstream pricing regime.