The government of Nigeria has tendered an apology to Nigerians on Friday over the confusion surrounding the latest fuel price increment.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipreye Sylva, apologised to Nigerians on Friday explaining that it was a mix-up.
He urged Nigerians to disregard the increase.
He said: “Irrespective of the source of that information, I want to assure you that it is completely untrue.
“Neither Mr. President who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, nor my humble self who deputise for him as Minister of State, has approved that the pump price of petrol should be increased by one naira.
“I would therefore urge you to disregard this misleading information.”
According to him, it is unthinkable that the Federal Government would unilaterally increase the pump price without finalising the ongoing discussions with the organised labour.
Mr Sylva said: “You are all aware that for the past few months the govt has been in consultation with organized labour to find the least painful option to respond to the global rise in the price of crude, which in turn has inevitably led to increase in the price of PMS.
“It is unthinkable that govt would unilaterally abandon these discussions and act in the manner suggested by the information under reference.”
The minister, therefore, apologised to all Nigerians for any distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, has declared that its publication of monthly template, does not amount to increasing the price of petroleum products, as such increases are supposed to be determined by market forces, under the current deregulation of the sector.
In a statement obtained by Vanguard, Friday, Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, stated: “The attention of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been drawn to speculations about the increased pump price of PMS.
“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 an 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.”
He stated: “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. While consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing, 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.”
He added: “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.
While assuring the public of adequate products supply as the average PMS Day-Sufficiency as of March 11, 2021, is over 35 days, the PPPRA pledges to continue to perform its statutory function in ensuring that the downstream sector remains vibrant as well as support both government and members of the public.”