Marketers Mull New Pump Price

<strong>Marketers Mull New Pump Price</strong>
  • Price no longer feasible at N165 – IPMAN
  • As Lagos, Abuja worse hit

Cyril Ogar, Teddy Nwanunobi and Rotimi Asher, Lagos

Nigerians are now paying more for petrol despite the official price still fixed at N162.50 and N165 per litre.

Independent marketers, who started implementing a new price regime of between N170 to N190 at the weekend, insisted yesterday that it would be difficult for them to sell at the official pump price.

Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria ,IPMAN, in a statement by its Lagos State Depot ,LSD Secretary, Akeem Balogun, said: “With the current price, there is no way we can sell less than N180 per litre. This is as fuel scarcity re-emerge in states such as Abuja, Lagos, Oyo and others is due to the closure of some petrol stations emanating from the scarcity of the product.

The Chairman of IPMAN, Lagos Satellite Depot, Ejigbo, Mr Akin Akinrinade, who spoke to Journalists, blamed the development on the issue of pricing of the product.

Akinrinade noted that given the current realities in the market, the N165 per litre as pump price of Premium Motor Spirit ,PMS, fixed by the government could no longer hold, adding that the product should be sold at a retail price of N180 per litre at the fuel stations.

He said: “As you can see, the queues are back and this is the second time we are witnessing it this year. However, this one is peculiar in the sense that for a particular reason, IPMAN members decided to shut their stations. This is not because we are on strike, but because we can no longer do business under this condition”.

Akinrinade, stressed that IPMAN members ought to be getting supply from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, noted that the products were yet to be delivered, leading members to patronise private depots for products amid heavy loans.

Now, these private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS from N148.17 to N162 per litre.

“When you factor in the handling charge, transportation and running cost of our stations, you will see that even within Lagos, the minimum we can retail petrol is about N180 per litre.

In any case, queues at petrol stations in Abuja have continued as most filling stations at the city centre and surrounding areas remained shut.

Checks by AljazirahNigeria showed that while a few major marketers had the product, most independent marketers-owned stations were closed.

At nearby Nasarawa State, a station that opened sold at N220 per litre , above the Federal Government regulated price of N165 per litre.

Marketers had last week blamed high cost of diesel for the continuing shortage in Abuja, saying it was unprofitable to bring products from coastal ports.

The National President of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association, NOGASA, Mr. Benneth Korie, said the exorbitant cost of diesel was having a huge impact on transportation of petrol.

Korie, who admitted that there was petrol at the depots in the southern parts of the country, said marketers were reluctant to bring the product up north because of the huge cost implication.

If you bring at N40/litre and you buy at N155/litre that is N195/litre and you are expected to sell at N165/litre, who will do that business. The high cost of diesel is the reason for the queues and it will remain so until something is done”.

In Lagos, many independent stations were shut; the few that were dispensing recorded long queues.

The chaos in the stations that dispensed fuel with a fewer number of pumps was worsened by jerry can-carrying residents in search of the product to power their generators.

In Lagos, the queues were most noticeable at filling stations owned by major marketers in traffic-prone areas like Oshodi, Ejigbo, Ikeja, Egbeda, Ikotun Igando, Iyanaiba and Satellite.

In Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, queues also resurfaced in the few stations that opened, leaving motorists and commuters lamenting. Many stations in the city were shut as they claimed not to have fuel to dispense.

The queues were seen at Rano filling station along Ado-Iworoko Road in the city and at BOVAS located at Bank Road along new Ado-Iyin Road.

In Ikere-Ekiti, the second largest town in Ekiti, filling stations were also shut down and a few that opened had long queues of vehicles.

Vehicle owners, tricycle operators and motorcyclists in Jos, the Plateau State capital also lamented as they bought fuel at N190 and N200 at the few independent stations that opened for business.

Our reporter, who went to some of the f stations within the city, reported that the majority of the dealers barricaded their gates.

At the NNPC mega station along Secretariat junction, motorists lamented that they had been able to purchase fuel there in the past four days.

The situation in Abuja worsened at the weekend with long queues at the filling stations where petrol is sold.

There were also queues in states bordering the FCT, including Nasarawa and Niger.

In the Federal Capital Territory, there were queues at various filling stations such as the NNPC, Mobil, A.A. Rano, AYA Ashafa, Enyo, among others.

Hundreds of motorists besieged the few filling stations that dispensed petrol at various states, spending hours on queues in a bid to buy PMS.

Oil marketers blamed the development on the drop in supply, stating that the demand for petrol was currently higher than what was being provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

A former chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and Chairman/CEO, 11 Plc, Tunji Oyebanji, told reporters that the scarcity was temporary.

As of last week, there were some talks about low stock and suppliers not giving products, but I think it’s a temporary glitch because NNPC told us they have sufficient stock of fuel”, he said.

However, motorists in Osun, Kwara, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Kano, Katsina, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Benue, Nasarawa, Borno, Yobe, Imo, Abia and Gombe had no challenges purchasing fuel from both major and independent dealers, but petrol still sold between N185 and N200 per litre.

AljazirahNigeria source in the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria ,MOMAN, attributed the scarcity to a dislocation in the supply chain.

The MOWAN source, who pleaded anonymity, explained that when there is a disruption of the supply chain, “It takes an average of almost two weeks to get it back to normal”.

This is coming against the backdrop of a shutdown by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria ,IPMAN, which has led to fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.

The body explained that the decision of some of its members to shut down their operations was because they no longer want to operate at a loss or under hostile conditions.

Reacting to the development, the Federal Government says the fixed pump price of Premium Motor Spirit ,PMS, remains N165 per litre as stipulated in the petroleum product pricing template.

The government also advised Nigerians against panic buying of PMS, also known as petrol, saying that the country currently had over 2 billion litres of PMS in various depots.

This was made known by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company after visiting jetties in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday.

The depots visited by the top officials of the agencies were NIPCO Depot and TotalEnergies Depot.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria ,IPMAN, had on Monday advised its members to adjust the pump price of PMS to a minimum of N180 per litre.

The marketers had said the move was necessitated by the increment in the ex-depot price of PMS by some private depots where they were buying the product from.

However, Mr Ugbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure ,NMDPRA, maintained that petrol was a regulated product and urged marketers to comply with the pricing template.

Ukoha said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had led to an increment in the cost of Automotive Gas Oil ,diesel, which was a critical product used in transporting petroleum products from the depots to the retail outlets.

He said: “So, when we observed that this poses a big challenge in the movement of other products, we made the representation to the Minister of State for Petroleum and Mr President graciously approved that the freight rate for trucks be increased.

“There’s a N10 addition, which we will apply to the different routes to enable trucks to move to docks easily with less burden.

“With these kinds of efforts from the government, we can only continue to appeal to operators within this industry to play by the rules.

“PMS is a regulated product and the prices are fixed. The ex-depot price is known. The pump price remains N165 and the authority is ever ready to enforce those rules.

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