N700/litre petrol price, mere speculation – Ex-MOMAN chair
Tunji Oyebanji, a former chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, has advised Nigerians and marketers to refrain from speculating about the pump price of petrol. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, Oyebanji emphasized that in a deregulated market, prices would be determined by market forces. He stated that projecting a petrol price of N700 per litre was baseless speculation. Oyebanji's remarks were in response to a recent statement by Mike Osatuyi, the National Controller of Operations for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, who suggested that the pump price of petrol could reach N700 per litre, particularly in the Northern region, once independent marketers began importing the product in July.
Oyebanji highlighted that no marketer could accurately predict the pump price until the product's importation commenced. He explained that the price would depend on factors such as the exchange rate, citing the example of diesel prices that had previously surged to above N800 per litre but had since decreased to around N600 to N620 per litre. In a deregulated environment, the price of petrol is subject to change, especially when importing the product. Oyebanji dismissed sensational projections of the price, stating that they were unnecessary and aimed at stirring excitement among marketers. He urged observers to monitor exchange rates and international market trends to understand how they influence the price.
Oyebanji emphasized the need for individuals to adjust their spending and prioritize their choices based on the prevailing circumstances. He also mentioned that the price of petrol could decrease depending on the exchange rate, leading to healthy competition among marketers. Oyebanji concluded that there would be price adjustments in the market, and while prices may increase or decrease, the availability of products everywhere would encourage consumers to compare prices and discourage higher-priced stations. Osatuyi informed NAN that current fuel supplies from marketers like DAPPMAN, IPMAN, and MOMAN were old stock, clarifying that no new products had been imported under the new foreign exchange regime and deregulation. He explained that marketers were in a transition phase regarding pricing under the new regime.
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