The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday revealed why its subsidiary -Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) stopped announcing its monthly ex-depot price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
Its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, told The Nation on phone that “there is always an issue when the price is published.”
Asked why the company has not published the price for the past two months, he said “they no longer do that.”
His answer confirmed speculations in some quarters that the Federal Government has decided to control the criticism of price hike by keeping the price to its chest.
Obateru explained to The Nation: “There is always an issue when the price is announced. If you say a product is deregulated, everybody can go to the market to buy it for the price that is good for him or her.”
The Federal Government had early this year announced the deregulation of the PMS.
With the announcement, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) was always meeting with the major and independent marketers to arrive at the dealer/pump price.
It later abdicated the responsibility that is even spelt out in its name to the PPMC.
The agency told the reporters since the product is deregulated, the marketer – PPMC has the power to fix price in accordance with market forces.
The Nation confirmed from the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi the PPMC has stopped the monthly notification on petrol price.
Speaking with The Nation on phone, he said: “They (PPMC) have no other way of informing marketers what they decide about price since they stopped sending us memo.”
According to him, since the market is highly competitive, marketers prefer to patronise the private depots that sell at lower rates.
He said since the market is deregulated and competitive, marketers can only opt for the lowest profit margin to attract customers.
Asked why the sole importer of the product-NNPC should sell the product higher than private depots, he said “NNPC incurs much cost than private depots. “
– The Nation