Abuja—The Federal Government Monday said that it had no hand in the recent increment of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit also called petrol, above the regulated cost of N165/litre.
It maintained that the hike in the cost of petrol, currently between N175/litre and N230/litre, depending on the location of purchase, was done by oil marketers.
The Punch reports that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, insisted that the government had not raised the price of PMS while speaking on the sidelines of the stakeholders’ consultation forum on Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulations.
The programme was organised by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority in Abuja.
The minister responding to a question as to Why the government had not waded into the disparity in the pump prices of petrol said,
“Well, I can tell you authoritatively that we have not deregulated.
“The government is still subsidising, if there are increases in the price it is not from the government, it is probably from the marketers.
“But, of course, I will talk to the NMDPRA’s chief executive to ensure that they actually regulate the prices. But this is not from the government because we have not deregulated.”
Further responding to questions about why no action had been taken against the marketers and why there had been no monitoring exercise to enforce the government-approved price, Sylva replied, “Well, I don’t know about monitoring exercise.
“But I know that the authority is fully on their job and the queues will be dissipated very soon.”
The Punch recalls that oil marketers across the country recently raised the price of petrol above the approved N165/litre rate without any official approval by the government. This was despite the fact that the cost of commodity was still being regulated.
The marketers had argued that the N165/litre approved price was not sustainable and was contributory to the scarcity of petrol in many locations nationwide.
They eventually hiked the pump price of petrol and maintained the price increase for several weeks running without any resistance from the government.