About $150 million is spent monthly on petrol importation, a Principal Manager at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Osagie Clement said yesterday.

He spoke when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the petrol price hike.

Clement said the CBN has no control over the price of either premium motor spirit (PMS) or the dollar.

He said as a result of low demand, consumption of PMS has reduced by 30 per cent.

Clement urged the Federal Government to discourage importation and encourage local refining.

This, he said, would reduce the current challenges in the economy.

Executive Director of Distribution Systems at the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA), Ogbugo Ukoha, stressed that the market forces of demand and supply would determine prices.

According to him, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) empowers regulators to intervene to avoid cartel building, which is why the agency introduced competition to also deal with illegal profiteering.

Also yesterday, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) denied blaming security agencies for the high cost of PMS.

Its National President, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said reports credited to him were aimed at creating disaffection between the body and security agencies.

In a statement in Abuja, the association said that in proffering a solution to the petrol price increase, Okoronkwo told the House Committee that the only way out is for the Federal Government to quickly adopt the Compressed National Gas (CNG).


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