From Uche Usim, Abuja

With deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry in full swing, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has said that the era of price fixing and sourcing foreign exchange for imports at the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates is over.

It also said that petroleum equalisation, and the national transport allowance have been officially scrapped as they have been built into the new pump price of petrol.

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The Authority Chief Executive (ACE), Farouk Ahmed, who made these disclosures in Abuja on Friday, said market forces are now at play to determine the prices and not any government agency.

He said the field is now level for all players willing to play in the downstream sector as it is in any liberalised market.   Ahmed said: “We put the regulation in place, we make sure quality control is complied with, we make sure the product is there and we give license to a prospective importer. The market is now open for everybody that wants to import as far as they meet all the requirements. So, it is not about the NNPC alone. For everybody in the sector, we make sure we guide their operations whether at the depot or wherever the product is but we will not put a cap to say this is what the price must be. As far as we are concerned in the NMDPRA, this is not like before when the PPPRA fixes the price. In a deregulated market, it is the market force that dictates the price.” On where the importers will source their forex from, Farouk said: “Anywhere but the CBN will not give dollars to anyone because it is now an open market.