The Federal Government has said oil marketers are not free to fix the price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
A statement in Abuja on Sunday by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency said the government had not conferred on marketers the power to fix petrol price.
The PPPRA stressed that the new market-based pricing regime was still in force.
The Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, said the attention of the agency was drawn to the several media reports that claimed that the government had removed the price cap on PMS and had given marketers the freedom to fix the price of the commodity and sell above the stipulated price.
He described this as a misconception, adding that the implementation of a market-based pricing regime was first announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, in March.
Saidu said, “This was followed by PPRA’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.”
He said the agency would monitor market trends and advise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and oil marketing companies on the monthly market-based guiding price that includes the indicative retail price at which the product would be sold across the country.
Sylva had stated that the Federal Government would continue to monitor the price of petroleum products and advise on monthly guiding prices that would guarantee reasonable returns to operators.
He also stated that the government would ensure that consumers paid appropriate prices in line with market reality.
The minister had stressed that the government’s role in a deregulated economy was to provide, through the operation of the PPPRA, a pricing mechanism to create a market-driven price regime.
He noted that in a deregulated market, the role of a regulator in monitoring and regulating activities in the sector could not be over-emphasised.