THE management of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has announced that audited Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) already in tanks at various depots of petroleum marketers in the country will not qualify for payment of subsidy claims.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, the decision was reached at a meeting with operators in the downstream sector, hosted by the PPPRA during the week in Abuja.

The meeting was convened to address crucial issues in the downstream, arising from the deregulation of the PMS market by the Federal Government as announced by the PPPRA on Jan.1 this year.

A document highlighting the meeting, seen by NAN explained that in determining the subsidy computation for last month, volumes of PMS certified by independent inspectors in tanks belonging to petroleum marketers as at Jan1, would not qualify for subsidy claims.

The action, initiated by the PPPRA in line with the transparency regime, initiated by the new Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr Stanley Reginald, was designed to prevent the Federal Government from losing huge revenues through submission of subsidy claims by marketers, who are currently, selling the products to the public at deregulated prices.

The document stated that the year-end stock-taking exercise at the depots, carried out nationwide on Jan. 1, was done primarily to determine the actual consumption of gasoline nationwide, following the spiralling consumption figures of the product over the years.

It affirmed that the PPPRA’s monthly stock-taking exercise at the depots would continue during the regime of deregulation.

NAN learnt that the meeting was convened by Stanley to solicit the co-operation of all operators for the successes of the deregulation policy and to enable him clarify crucial issues relating to the modalities of implementation of the policy.

At the meeting, the PPPRA chief itemized the thrust of the new policy as it related to fuel importation under a deregulated regime and implementation of the indicative benchmark pricing system.

It was resolved that import volume determination by Independent Cargo Inspectors would be maintained for monitoring and data collection purposes by the PPPRA and that the agency would also continue to provide maximum indicative benchmark prices every fortnight for depots and open-market retail sales outlets.

At the meeting, the PPPRA maintained that a pricing template was the final guiding document for importation, storage, transportation and sales of petroleum products in the current deregulated dispensation, stating that no operator was at liberty to alter any of the cost elements.

According to Stanley, following the new pricing regime, marketers who sell above the indicative benchmark price, provided by the PPPRA will be subjected to serious penalty by relevant regulatory agencies, including the revocation of their import or operating licenses by the Department of Petroleum Resources.

The PPPRA, however, noted that the current template should be viewed by all operators as a take-off point while the agency sought means of developing a reactive template that would capture sudden and emerging realities.

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