NMDPRA, Not NNPC Limited Determines Price Of Premium Motor Spirit

By Adewole Kehinde,

It seems major media outfits in Nigeria have joined the bandwagon of some unscrupulous online media in the publication of fake and unverified news across Nigeria.

Most print and online newspapers on Tuesday went to press with the headline “NNPC quietly approves petrol pump price hike to N179/litre”.

NNPC Limited, through its Group Public Affairs Division, is well known for giving out information about developments in the oil and gas sector.

I was surprised to see major print media quoting the NNPC Limited, even though no such information came from the NNPC Limited, according to its spokesman, Mal. Garba Deen Muhammad.

You can imagine the first two paragraphs of a major newspaper saying, “The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has approved an upward review in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N165 per litre to N179 per litre, effective today. NNPC, in a notice to fuel marketers, directed them to change the petrol price on pumps to the new price effective today.

“This was even as the company equally increased the ex-depot price from N148.17 to N167 per litre.

I am challenging the media outfits that published this fake news to substantiate the publication with the signatory to the press release, aside from showing a copy of the directive.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited does not have the authority to set the price of premium motor spirit; rather, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) does.

For the enlightenment of the media houses that are not too familiar with the activities of the NMDPRA, below is a summary of the Authority.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (otherwise known as “The Authority”) was created in August 2021 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which provides a legal, governance, regulatory, and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry as well as the development of Host Communities.

Consequently, Mr. President approved the appointment of Mr. Farouk Ahmed as the Authority Chief Executive of the NMDPRA as conveyed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, to run the day-to-day affairs of the new regulatory authority.

The NMDPRA is the result of a merger of three defunct regulatory agencies: the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board (PEFMB), and the Department of Petroleum Resources’ Midstream and Downstream Divisions. This birth has ushered in a new dawn of establishing a progressive regulatory framework that encourages investment and full optimization of the midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry in Nigeria.

The Authority is responsible for the regulation of the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria, which includes technical, operational, and commercial activities.

On a final note, our media industry should take advantage of the open-door policy of the Group General, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC Limited, Mallam Garba Deen Muhammad, to make enquiries before going to the press with publications that will damage the reputation of such media houses.

Adewole Kehinde is an energy expert and a publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662, kennyadewole@gmail.com

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