For pegging the pump price of petrol at N125 per litre, the Federal Government would be shortchanging Nigerians to the tune of N3.3 billion daily on the 55 million litres of the product consumed every day in the country, The Guardian has learnt. If the sector was deregulated and market forces were allowed to drive the price based on current realities in which the price of crude oil averaged $25 per barrel, the expected open market price of the product should not exceed N84 per litre.

Though the Federal Government had earlier in the week directed the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to peg the pump price of petrol at N125 per litre, down from N145, the directive might not have been the best option for Nigerians.

The Federal Government has remained the sole importer of petrol through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which equally swaps crude oil for the product. The latest landing cost of petrol published on Monday by the PPPRA, with all cost elements, including the actual cost of product and freight, lightering expenses as well as other necessary charges, indicated that it stood at N64.32, while the expected open market price stood at N83.69 per litre.

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