THE Federal Government has said there is no plan yet to increase the pump price of petroleum products, particularly, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as fuel.
There have been fears of imminent increase in the price of petrol among members of the public as a result of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
The PIB provides for the prices of all petroleum products in the downstream sector to be driven by the realities of open market forces.
Government has been controlling the pump price of petrol which is currently sold at N162 per litre against the expected open market price of N254/litre.
The shortfall had hitherto been absorbed by the government through subsidy to reduce the cost for Nigerians, making the government spend more.
The signing of the PIB into law raised fears of immediate petrol pump price increase despite assurances by the government that it would not happen so soon.
To clear the air on this, the Petroluem Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), issued a statement stating that implementation of the PIA would not translate to automatic increment in pump price of petrol across the country.
The statement which was signed by the agency’s Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, indicated that though the PIA provided for full deregulation of the downstream sector, which would definitely affect prices, it however, noted that “PIA does not automatically translate to any immediate increase in the price of PMS.”
Saidu explained that “the current price will remain until a negotiation with organised labour, which will develop a feasible framework that minimises the impact of a Market-Based pricing policy on the masses, is concluded.
“The PIA which provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities and related matters, marks the beginning of a new era in the growth and development of the entire oil and gas industry.”
He noted that implementation of the PIA would create a conducive environment for robust investment in the oil and gas sector.
“It will also lead to transparency and efficient resource management, provide a more consistent standard of operations and ensure less cumbersome regulatory control of the industry, among other gains,” Saidu said.