The Federal Government has disassociated itself from the latest petrol price template of N212.6 per litre released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), saying it is not planning to raise fuel price for now.
This is even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has ruled out any possible increase in fuel pump price for now.
The PPPRA had in its monthly template released late on March 11, advised that the retail price of petrol should sell between N209.61 and N212.61.
According to the agency, the landing cost for petrol per litre is now at N189.61, thereby jacking up the ex-depot price to N206.42 per litre. The template is used to advise the government on what the market price of fuel should be.
However, since the NNPC remained the sole importer of petroleum products for now, it is believed by industry analysts that the state-owned oil company is currently bearing the price burden.
Investigations by brtnews.ng showed that other major and independent marketers had ceased from importing products as foreign exchange (forex) scarcity and other fiscal challenges have become insurmountable by them
With the government’s position on the downstream sub-sector pricing regime, it implies that Nigerians will continue to buy petrol at the current price of N164 and N170 per litre in March.
It would be recalled that with the deregulation of the downstream sub-sector, fuel price had risen from N121.50 to N123.50 per litre in June, to between N140.80 and N143.80 per litre in July, N148-N150 in August, between N158 and N162 per litre in September and N163 per litre in November.
Since November last year, petrol price per litre has remained unchanged despite an increase in crude oil price in the international market.
When the fuel subsidy was removed in June 2020, crude oil was selling at about $45 per barrel but as at March 9, crude oil per barrel price had hit a 13-month high of about $71.38 per barrel.
Over the past few days, the international price of crude oil per barrel price has remained far higher than the 2021 Federal Government’s $40 per barrel budget benchmark.
The implications of this trend are that if properly managed, the government is expected to record substantial budget surplus that could be used to fix the ailing refineries and boost local production.
Meanwhile, PPPRA, today in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, the agency declared that its publication of monthly template, did not amount to increasing the price of petroleum products, stressing that any increase in fuel pump price is supposed to be determined by market forces in line with the downstream deregulation.
Checks on the PPPRA’s website by our correspondent also showed that the pricing template of N212.61 per litre had been deleted.