THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC ) said it is no longer its business to announce the pump prices of the premium motor spirit (PMS) or petrol.
This, according to the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, is accountable for the government’s silence on the January price of the product.
He said the product is deregulated and only its marketers have the power to fix and announce its price.
Speaking with The Nation on phone on Thursday, he noted that the Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC ), a subsidiary of the Corporation, was only announcing the prices last year as the sole importer of the product.
The NNPC spokesman, who said that Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA ) has the power to make public the pump price, noted that it has even been “sided” because of deregulation.
Asked why the government has not released the prices of PMS for January, Obateru said: “We don’t do pricing. It is PPPRA.
We don’t talk about pricing.”
Asked why even the PPMC cannot announce the price, he said “What they say is that we (NNPC/PPMC ) are participants. We are not supposed to be the ones talking about pricing.
“It is just because other people are not participating. We are just supposed to be one of the players in that space.
“Even our own price is not something we are supposed to be announcing. It is just like in advanced countries if you get to the pump, you see the price whether going up or down. We are participants. It is the PPPRA that is supposed to be talking about price.
“I think even in their own case, what they do now is they are sided. But they do their regulation to make sure you don’t charge arbitrary price. But now NNPC is the only player pending when other people will come in.”
The PPPRA in March last year announced the deregulation of petrol. It was fixing the prices for some months before the PPMC took over the responsibility, which it discharged till October.
In November, the company was silent about the price until in December, when the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige announced a reduction of N5 per litre the band of N70 per litre.