The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has explained its decision to publish a new petrol price on Thursday, after the government-backed down following public outrage.
The agency released a template late Thursday, indicating a huge jump in the retail price of petrol from about N160 to N212.
The decision contradicted earlier assurances by the NNPC that there will be no increment in March, prompting the government to disown it and apologize.
In a statement Friday by its executive secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, the PPPRA said it does not “fix or announce prices”, and claimed the petroleum pricing template published on its website was not intended to cause an increase in the price of petrol.
However, previous templates released by the agency formed the basis of fuel price increase or decrease in the country.
Prior to the latest controversial announcement, the PPPRA published its last template in November 2020.
The statement reads:
“The PPPRA by this release wishes to state clearly that the Guiding Prices posted on our website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in the pump price of PMS. However, publications by the media to this effect have been misconstrued and thus misleading.
“The Agency wishes to remind the general public of the introduction of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 as gazetted by the Federal Government. Based on this regulation, prices are expected to be determined by market realities in line with the dictates of market forces.
“One of the conditions for the implementation of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 is the monthly release of Guiding Price to reflect current market fundamentals.
“The PPPRA in line with its mandate to maintain constant surveillance overall key indices relevant to pricing policy monitors market trends on a daily basis to determine Guiding Prices.
“The Agency is not unaware of the challenges with the supply of PMS due to some concerns leading NNPC to be the sole importer of PMS. PPPRA is also mindful of the current discussion going on between the government and the Organised Labour on the deregulation policy.
“PPPRA does not fix or announce prices and therefore there is no price increase. The current PMS price is being maintained while consultations are being concluded.
“Even though market fundamentals for PMS in the past few months indicated upward price trends, the pump price has remained the same and we are currently monitoring the situation across retail outlets nationwide.
“PPPRA pledges to continue to perform its statutory function in ensuring that the downstream remain vibrant as well as support both government and members of the public,” the agency said.