Despite opposition by oil marketers, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has said it would continue to fix price bands for petrol.
The agency also revealed that a regulation for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, had been established in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, while addressing questions on the PMS pricing regime, which commenced on March 19, 2020.
Marketers had expressed concerns over the issuing of monthly guiding prices for petrol since the introduction of the regime.
Responding to this, Saidu argued that different sectors of the economy operate under the guidance of national regulators.
He said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria regulates the banks and other financial sector operators; the Nigerian Communications Commission regulates telecommunications and the same exists for operators in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector.
“To this end, it is not out of place for the agency (PPPRA) to provide a guiding price band with the aim of protecting consumers against price gouging.
“It is important to also state that there is nowhere in the world that deregulation means a total lack of control, supervision, or oversight.”
Saidu noted that while the market-based pricing regime was a policy introduced to free the market of all encumbrances to investment and growth, it should not be misconstrued to mean a total abdication of government’s responsibility to the sector and citizenry.
He also noted that extant laws gave the agency the legislative backing to formulate policy initiatives on pricing regime.