Fuel Marketers Predict N170/Litre, Claim Supply Drop, NNPC Disagrees

83 Viewed Obiajulu Joel Nwolu 0 respond
Petrol
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

The pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, may rise from the current N162-N165/litre to N170/litre, while its depot price is projected to increase from N159/litre to N165/litre, oil marketers said on Thursday.

Dealers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria warned that the rising cost of petrol at depots would definitely warrant commensurate increase in pump price if not checked.

They also complained of PMS supply problems, stressing that many tank farms or depots had no petrol, which was why the few ones that had the commodity had to increase its price from the approved N148/litre price to N159/litre.

But the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited maintained its stance that it had enough petrol to last the country all through the festive season and beyond.

IPMAN and PETROAN members own bulk of the filling stations across the country and make purchases from depots before selling to final consumers at their various retail outlets.

Providing explanations for the rising cost of petrol at depots, owners of the facilities told our correspondent that it was because the recent agreement reached by key stakeholders in the downstream oil sector had yet to be effected by the Federal Government.

The NNPC had last week agreed to revert to naira-denominated invoices for excess capacity for coastal movement using the Investors and Exporters window rate for the time being, but this had yet to be implemented.

Depot owners had argued that the payment of the charges in dollars was a major hindrance to their effective participation in products distribution, saying this had led to scarcity in many cities.

Read Also: Petrol Subsidy Rises To N905.27bn, Oil Increases to $79.71

On the possibility of a hike in the pump price of petrol soon, the National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said it was inevitable if the current increase in depot price persists.

Asked if the high depot cost could result in an increase in pump price, he replied, “Yes, because if you look at our profit margin, you will realise that it is regulated and fixed.

“And they (government) often talk about deregulation. But you cannot do deregulation in a regulated market. There is a band and you say you are doing deregulation.

“So for marketers, any moment from now, we will be pushed to take the band above N165 to N170 if this situation continues.”

Petrol

Chinedu further argued that there had been problems with product availability, contrary to the position of the NNPC that it had enough petrol that would last for months.

The IPMAN spokesperson said, “I want you to know that the availability of petrol is a problem. Most tank farms don’t have products. And the place to go and buy product is from the few ones that have.

“And as a result, profiteering will set in and they will be selling at N159 to N160/litre. You (marketers) will now consider moving the product to your filling stations, particularly for marketers who don’t get bridging claims.

“Now this marketer will pay close to N100,000 to be able to send the product to his station. Now when the product gets to his station, that product’s cost is almost at N163/litre. So, will he use only N2 margin to sell petrol, knowing that he will pay staff, power bill, taxes, etc?”

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Garba-Deen Muhammad, could not be reached for comment, as he did not answer calls to his phone.

He had yet to respond to a WhatsApp message sent to him on the matter at the time of filing this report.

However, Muhammad had said in a statement issued recently that the NNPC had over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more product was expected to arrive Nigeria daily over the coming weeks and months.

He said it was unnecessary to entertain any fear of scarcity of petrol throughout the festive season and beyond.

He also stressed that NNPC was also not aware of any plan by government to cause an increase in the pump price of petroleum.

Source: Punch

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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