Petroleum filling station owners, under the auspices of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association (PETROAN), have kicked at the petrol pump price increase announced by the federal government on Wednesday, saying that it will bring confusion, distrust and losses in the market.
In what is seen as one of the highest price movements in the last few months, the federal government announced yesterday that the pump price of petrol increases between N140.80 and N143.80 from July 2020.
Federal government had stated in March this year that henceforth the price of petroleum products will be determined by market forces, stressing that the products will come to Nigerians at a retail price that will be largely determined by the global crude oil prices, as well as market forces.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Executive Director, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Saidu Abdulkadir, said that it arrived at the new price after putting into consideration the operating costs by marketers.
“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 “140.80 “143.80/litre, for the month of July, 2020,” he said.
But unfortunately the marketers and retail outlet dealers seem not to share the view of the PPPRA. PETROAN president, Dr Prince Billy Harry, told Orient Energy Review that PPPRA’s premises are wrong, and that the price increases will bring confusion in the market, that may turn out as losses to retailers.
“What do you expect when a customer buys fuel at N141 per liter in the evening, then returns the next day or two and he is told that the price is now N143. It is going to affect confidences in the market.
“Even when they do not exist, motorists and other users of petroleum products will begin to think the retailers are into manipulations. This is not good for the sector,” Dr Harry said.
The way out, he said, is for Nigeria to adopt total deregulation backed by law. “I do not mean policy; I mean a legal framework, because it is easier for succeeding regimes to change policies. But a law may not be easily changed. We need deregulation backed up by law. The regulation role adopted by the PPPRA, in this instance, is counter-productive,” the PETROAN president stated.