Mixed reactions on Wednesday trailed the reduction in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit from N145 to N125 per litre by the Federal Government.
While some Nigerians lauded the reduction, petroleum marketers, however, faulted the government for not engaging stakeholders before announcing the new price regime.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the reduction following the crash in the global crude oil prices.
Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), told NAN that the reduction would bring temporary relief to Nigerians who had been facing myriads of economic challenges.
Mumuni said: “SERAP welcomes the reduction in the price of fuel but we think more can still be done to lessen the pains of our people.
“We all know what Nigerians are facing today due to the harsh situation of the country and we believe government needs to do more to bring succour to the people.”
Mr Wilson Opuwei, an oil and gas expert, said the government should be commended for the reduction having successfully subsidised fuel when prices were high at the international market.
Opuwei, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Dateline Energy Services Limited, however, said that the government ought to have carried the marketers along before arriving at the decision.
“This kind of reduction comes as a shock to marketers who have already ordered for products but hopefully the government will pay the differentials.
” Also, the marketers should adjust their prices because this is a patriotic decision taken in the overall interest of Nigerians,” he said.
However, a top marketer who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said the government was not being fair to marketers.
“They have failed to pay marketers subsidy and then this unilateral reduction of price without consultation is not acceptable.
” What happens to all the stock that has been sold to marketers at a higher price? Will government pay the cash difference now?
“Government should be engaging marketers to plan for deregulation and not to set arbitrary prices,” he said.
NAN also reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s official twitter handle said that the new N125 per litre pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol, will begin from March 19, 2020.
“In compliance with the directives of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on PMS pricing, the Corporation has reviewed its Ex-coastal, Ex-depot and NNPC Retail pump prices accordingly.
“Effective March 19, 2020, NNPC Ex-Coastal price for PMS has been reviewed downwards from N117.6/litre to N99.44/litre while Ex-Depot price is reduced from N133.28/litre to N113.28/litre.
“These reductions will therefore translate to N125/litre retail pump price,” it said.