By: Ifeanyi Izeze
Glaringly, the arbitrariness and public contempt in the operations of
the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulation Agency (PPPRA) under this
government is fast becoming at best callous and at worst criminal.
Severally, it has been said that The PPPRA has become a reproach to this
country as it has no business still existing particularly under the
present administration that came under the cloak of integrity,
transparency, and accountability.
Just last week, the agency which solely exist to increase fuel price
whenever the rulers want it, announced an upward review of the
prevailing pump price of petrol from N145 to N148.7 per litre citing
cost of crude oil at the spot markets which improved slightly as most
nations and major economies are beginning to lift the total lockdown
orchestrated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
How do you rationalise that this new price was announced even without
the approval of the board of the PPPRA and the oversight Ministry of
Petroleum Resources and worse still at this hard time when Nigerians are
still struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the
associated lockdown of businesses and means of livelihood?
If the only excuse from the government for the incessant increase in the
retail prices of petrol and other products is hinged on the vagaries of
the international oil markets, Nigerians should brace up to pay as much
as N200 per litre of petrol because crude oil prices would definitely
appreciate from the current lockdown rates. You see where we are heading
to as a major oil producing country?
Let’s even look at it: the government citing the crash in the price of
crude oil at the international market announced a downward review of
petrol price from N145 to N125 in March 2020.
And in August, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, a subsidiary
of the NNPC announced retail pump price regime of between N138.62
–N148.50 for August.
In a memo to oil marketers, PPMC said that effective Wednesday, August
5, the landing cost at ex-coastal transfer point for petrol is N113.70
per litre, while ex-depot price will be N138.62 per litre. Ex-depot
price is the amount depot owners and marketers are allowed to pay to
lift products from NNPC depots for distribution to retail outlets across
To determine the retail pump price the consumers would buy petrol,
marketers are allowed additional margins and incidental costs for
handling the storage and transportation of the products to retail
As aptly said by the President of Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba,
“it is unfortunate that Saidu Abdulkadir, the PPPRA boss did not even
feign pretence that the government has abdicated its responsibility to
protect Nigerians from the cut-throat tendencies of neo-liberal market
“If you juxtapose the new jack-up of the pump prices of petrol and
other products with the recent killer electricity charges unveiled by
DISCOs, Nigerians cannot help but feel the heat of a potent threat to
run millions of Nigerians under. It is even worse that this is coming at
a time when our people are living on the precipice of the Covid-19
Recall that the last downward review in the price of petrol was at the
beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. The economic benefits of the
so-called “downward” review were hardly enjoyed by ordinary
Nigerians who were mostly indoors. Just as the lockdown was being eased
out and as soon as the inter-state travel ban was lifted, the government
decided to hike petrol price. Is this move not a grand mischief and
It is clear even to the blind that the crisis in Nigeria’s downstream
petroleum sub-sector is ‘self’ nay “government-inflicted”. The
refusal by successive governments to fix the nation’s three and half
oil refineries is at the root of this problem.
This is a government that campaigned they would fix the refineries
within their first year in office and build new ones within their first
term in office. Now the government has spent over six years and nothing
has happened. All Nigerians get is it’s rationalisation of the
plethora of aberrations in their policies and programmes. Is it not
glaring that the Government and its NNPC simply want to transfer the
cost of their own incompetence and inefficiencies to the Nigerian
When this government came into power in May 2015 the pump price of
petrol was N87 per litre.
One of the earliest major decisions taken by General Buhari who feigned
to be people-oriented was in May 2016, when he increased the price of
petrol from N87 to N145 per litre. What was the excuse given by the then
Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu: “the increase was
to balance the different prices Nigerians pay to buy the products.”
Did Nigerians not pay different prices depending on location and terrain
after the so called price modulation?
As if governance in this country is all about increasing the pump price
of petrol, see the regime since 2000.
President Obasanjo met the price at N20 per litre but decided an upward
review to N30 per litre on June 1 2000. This was later downgraded to N22
The same Obasanjo on January 1 2002 jacked it up from N22 to N26 which
was later on October 2003 further increased to N42 per litre from where
it went to N50 per litre as announced on May29, 2004. The same Obasanjo
moved it to N65 per litre on August 25, 2004 from where the price went
to N75 per litre as announced on May27 2007.
Commendably, when the late President Umaru Yar’dua took over from
Obasanjo in 2007, the first remarkable decision he took was to downgrade
the price regime from N75 to N65 per litre.
The Jonathan government again jacked it up from N65 to N97 per litre
though later reviewed it downward to N87 per litre. This was the price
Buhari inherited. And now barely one year into his second tenure,
Nigerians are going to be paying between N148 and N150 per litre of
petrol. Nigerians should judge by themselves if this was the Mohammadu
Buhari thy voted for in 2015.What happened to the General’s original
people-oriented and communist disposition. The truth will one day come
out! God bless Nigeria!
(IFEANYI IZEZE writes from Abuja: firstname.lastname@example.org; 234-8033043009)