Petrol: Expert urges FG to be firm on deregulation of oil downstream sector


Wumi Iledare, Professor of Petroleum Economics, has urged the Federal Government to show political will to achieve deregulation of the downstream Petroleum sector for economic development.

Iledare, in an interview with newsmen, in Abuja on Friday said that re-introducing pricing template after announcing deregulation of the sector was counterproductive.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had in March 2020 announced the full deregulation of the downstream oil sector.

By the pronouncement, it was expected that market fundamentals would determines the price at which Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol and other products would be sold.

Iledare was reacting to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s (PPPRA) March pricing template that put the Pump Price of petrol at N212.61 per litre.

He said that with the recent development, government had gone back to subsidy payment which the industry had kicked against.

“It is disappointing to hear the double speaking of the managers.

“It’s not surprising that subsidy will rise as the price of crude traded in dollars rises.

“In fact, I am not sure the actual market price of forex is added in the template,’’ he said.

He said that with the increase in global crude price, pump prices had increased in some countries.

“The price of a litre in Ghana is almost N400 equivalent.

“It will take a transformational leadership to take a decisive decision on subsidy irrespective of plausible social unrest now.

“But if you don’t do something now and move away from price control or modulation, the government after government will continue to live under the threat of the Unions.

“President Muhammadu Buhari knows better because he has been there before.

“My advice remains the same, deregulate,’’ he added.

Reports state that Nigerian commuters woke up on Friday morning to witness some queues in some petrol stations.

It was not clear what led to the situation but it might not be unconnected with the same apprehension some two weeks ago when dealers speculated that the landing cost of petroleum products had gone up.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) dispelled the rumour, warned against panic buying and said that it had enough supplies to last for many weeks.