25 August 2015, Lagos – Major and independent marketers of petroleum products at the weekend experienced acute scarcity of Dual Purpose kerosene (DPK), thus encouraging high level of profiteering among the marketers.
Investigation revealed that the few depot owners with stock of product were selling not only above the government’s official price but also above the expected open market price quoted by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
THISDAY gathered that the PPPRA at the weekend quoted the landing cost and the Expected Open Market Price (EOMP) of imported kerosene at N91.26 and N106.75 per litre, respectively.
This implied that if kerosene were to be deregulated and the marketers allowed to sell according to the forces of demand and supply, the product would go for N91.26 per litre at the depots and N106.75 at the filling stations.
But THISDAY’s survey revealed that the only four marketers that had stock in Lagos at the weekend were selling at ex-depot price of between N132 and N137 per litre.
Index Petroleum was selling for N137 per litre; Eterna Oil (N136); EMMADEP (N134 per litre); and Obat Petroleum (132 per litre).
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the sole importer of kerosene is expected to sell to the marketers for N40.90, and it was not clear why the marketers hiked the ex-depot price to over N130 per litre.
With the price of kerosene going for over N130 at the depots, the few filling stations with the product were selling at N150 and above at the weekend, even though the deregulated market price quoted by the PPPRA was N106.75.
The government’s approved ex-depot price of kerosene is N40.90K, while the official pump price is N50 per litre.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had recently set up a task force to supervise and monitor the sale of petrol and DPK in some depots, as some major and independent marketers continued to sell above the official pump and ex-depot prices.
The regulatory agency had summoned a meeting of the stakeholders – Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC); Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA); Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), where the agency conveyed its displeasure at the illegal sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price.
Citing the Petroleum Control Act CAP.351 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended), the agency noted the prevailing hike in retail prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and DPK across the country is as a result of the unscrupulous activities of some depot owners and major marketers who are engaged in selling PMS and DPK to various retailers at prices higher than the official ex-depot price of N77.66k and N34.51K respectively.
To curb these sharp practices, the DPR announced the immediate suspension of direct sales of PMS and DPK from the affected depot owners and major marketers.
It also announced the immediate setting up of a special DPR task force on supervision and monitoring of product sales from the affected depots with powers to undertake the sale of products from these depots.
– This Day