The outgoing Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, yesterday, revealed that the Federal Government was considering a review of the pricing template for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popularly called petrol, and may effect a further reduction in the price of the commodity from April 2016.
The current pump price of PMS is N86/litre at all NNPC Mega Stations while major and independent marketers are supposed to sell at an official rate of N86.50/litre.
Speaking in Abuja, Ahmed, who officially handed over to the most senior officer of the PPPRA, Mr. Moses Mbaba, also disclosed that as at February 3, about one month after the commencement of price modulation, which led to the review of the pricing template of petrol, the country had saved N2.6 billion.
According to the erstwhile PPPRA boss, the decision on the review of the price of PMS would be taken next month by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu after due consultations with stakeholders and based on the price of crude oil in the international market.
“Yes, wait till March, you will see because the minister is fair in the decision he will take; because he will take the decision pragmatically”, Ahmed responded, when asked about the possibility of a likely reduction in the price of PMS.
He added that due to the current state of over-recovery, the PPPRA is recovering some money from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and oil marketers.
He noted that as at February 16, 2016, over-recovery was N13.81 per litre, stating that an over-recovery of N13.81 meant that the landing cost of PMS was lower than the selling price by N13.81.
However, as at the close of business yesterday, the over-recovery recorded by the country had dropped to N11.74 per litre, according to data obtained from the PPPRA website.
Ahmed said in instances of over-recovery, the agency sent debit notes to every marketers that fell within that bracket to refund the excess money to the government, adding that the fund was kept in an account recently opened at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
He said: “There has been an account launched at the CBN, managed by the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) where the over recovery funds are deposited into. So there is no question of where the money goes to.
“As at February 3, 2016, the estimate in that account, because we are verifying based on what was imported, is just a small amount of about N2.6 billion. But this is just the beginning because some of them are just arriving in December, that is why the subsidy over recovery is low”. Speaking further, he said “The fact is that whatever money that will be put into that account, one day, which is our hope that the price of crude oil will go up, there would be more revenue inflow to the federation account. The oil sector will benefit. That excess, before you go to government for any intervention, you go to that account and pull some money and compensate”.
Mr. Ahmed, however, noted that the over-recovery might disappear if the price of crude oil rose by next month.