The federal government Wednesday announced a new pump price of N143.80 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in a circular to all marketers on Wednesday, July 1 in Abuja stated that the price increase comes after it considered the market practicality of its former price.
A couple of weeks ago, the PPPRA had reduced the ex-depot price of petrol from N124 to about N121.
When the N121 price was announced by the agency, oil marketers had protested the move saying it was not practicable.
The circular said: “After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80-N143.80 per litre for the month of July 2020.’’
PPPRA had in March said it would periodically review the pump price of petrol in line with prevailing market realities.
However, in a chat with Blueprint, Capital Market and Finance Professor at the Nasarawa State University, Uche Uwaleke said the action by the agency is a reflection of government’s desire to exit the “flawed and corruption-ridden fuel subsidy regime.”
According to Uwaleke, PPPRA’s action is aided by the fact that COVID-19 has led to falling government revenue which has put enormous pressure on its finances.
“Fortunately for the Nigerian economy which is substantially powered by the oil sector, the OPEC+ production-cut agreement is yielding positive result, helping oil price recovery. However, this translates to higher cost of petroleum products imports. So, until we develop the capability to refine enough crude oil for domestic consumption, the pump price of PMS will continue to be exogenously determined. This is the sad reality,” he said.
Also, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa ( Rafsanjani ) said the absence of a sound economic management team by this administration with its poor policy direction is what is playing out in Nigeria now.
“This is why despite the celebrated assets recovered by the previous looters and huge debts collected it is difficult to see any tangible positive improvement on Nigerians well being as poverty, unemployment, poor infrastructures and corruption continued in Nigeria.
“The whole essence of COVID-19 palliatives as advocated by CISLAC is to provide relief to those vulnerable Nigerians including reduction on electricity, fuel and other essential livelihood but now the government shows no mercy on Nigerians.
“At global level, the price of petroleum has reduced but incidentally Nigeria being an oil producing nation its people are being subjected to buy at a higher rate under this terrible COVID-19 difficultly.
“Other countries are helping their citizens but in Nigeria more difficult conditions are being introduced and allegations of corruption are on the increase,” he said .