Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), has made a prediction that the competition among major players in the oil industry will lead to a decrease in petrol prices, contrary to the rising trends that have caused concern in the country.
Earlier on Wednesday, the NNPC announced that it had adjusted the price of petrol at the pump to reflect market conditions. However, the agency did not provide specific information about the updated petrol pricing.
Nevertheless, several retail establishments in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, and other states were observed selling the product at prices ranging from 600 to N800.
During an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Thursday, Kyari expressed his belief that the removal of subsidies would enable new participants to enter the market, fostering competition and gradually eliminating monopolies.
According to the NNPC Chief, “The positive aspect of removing subsidies is that new players will enter the market, as the main reason for oil marketing companies’ hesitation to participate thus far is the existence of the subsidy regime.”
He further explained, “The subsidy regime does not guarantee repayment to those who provide the product at a subsidized price. Now that the market is being regulated, oil marketing companies can import the product or purchase it locally and sell it at its retail price. Therefore, we will witness competition, even with NNPC. Moreover, by law, NNPC cannot control more than 30 percent of the market in the future. Once the market stabilizes, oil marketing companies will be able to enter.”
Kyari went on to elaborate, stating, “Competition will undoubtedly arise, and the market will naturally regulate prices. Therefore, the current pricing is just temporary, and within a week or two, you will observe varying prices due to different approaches taken by major players. Companies will adopt different strategies, guided by competition. Ultimately, prices will decrease, most likely due to enhanced efficiency.”
He added, “With the arrival of competition, players will strive for greater efficiency in their depots, truck management, and fuel stations, aiming to attract customers to their stations. In fact, this is already evident as motorists are selecting stations based on price differences. This self-regulation will bring down prices naturally, and I have no doubt about this.”