The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has explained that the deregulation of the downstream oil sector is in the best interest of the country.
The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Saidu Abdulkadir, gave the assurance on Tuesday, September 8, in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector.
Abdulkadir also said that the recent increase in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, hinges on the global market and availability of forex to marketers.
Represented by Mr Victor Shidok, the General Manager, Administration, as well as Human Relations; Abdulkadir said many marketers were yet to start importation of products due to the non-availability of foreign exchange.
According to him, although the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (PPMC); remained the sole importer of the product; PPPRA will continue to monitor development to check profiteering by marketers.
“The PPPRA as a regulator will continue the role of a watchdog in this deregulation regime. We will continue to maintain our role as a regulator; and ensure that Nigerians are not short-changed in any way in this process.
“You know how things are globally with the impact of COVID-19’on the global oil market. Accessing forex remains a challenge for marketers.
“We are hopeful that in a few months to come, Nigerians will understand what government is doing; to stabilise the downstream sector,’’ he said.
Abdulkadir said that the agency would continue to monitor the code of conduct that guides the operation of marketers in the industry; and ensure that it was not violated.
He reiterated that the government was no longer in the business of fixing the pump price of petrol; but would monitor marketers to avoid profiteering.
He hinted that the PPPRA may not be able to provide a monthly price band for the product; as it contradicts the deregulation policy.
“If we give you the price band for this month; it is like price-fixing’’ he said; and likewise assured Nigerians that better days were ahead as things would normalise with time.