20 January 2015, Abuja – Late Sunday, the Federal Government slashed the pump price of petrol from N97 per litre to N87. While many hailed the action, some others who are critical believe it is too little, too late. Even then, many filling stations as at last night were reluctant to adjust their pump prices. They would have been swift in adjusting the pump prices if the price was upward. Our Correspondents report
Buyers Kick As Ekiti Filling Stations Yet to Reverse Pump Price to N87
In spite of the federal government’s directive that a litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also called petrol be sold for N87, most of the petrol stations operating in Ekiti State are yet to comply with the order.
In some of the filling stations visited by THISDAY in Ado Ekiti on Monday, they were selling at the old price of N97 per litre.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, on Sunday announced the reduction of the pump price to N87, which she said took immediate effect.
THISDAY visited about 15 filling stations in the state capital, where only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station located along Ado-Iworoko road, had adjusted its pumps to reflect the new price of N87.
Even filling stations affiliated to NNPC are still selling at N97, which caused a lot of anxiety among buyers.
Speaking with THISDAY, a manager of one of the filling stations affiliated to
NNPC said he could not comply with the directive because the station bought its product at the rate of N94.5 from the depots.
The man, who spoke under anonymity, added that the NNPC would have to come and take stock for it to be sure of refunds from the corporation in form of subsidy.
“I don’t know the reason why the NNPC has not visited us to take the stock of what we have here. We bought this product at the rate of N94.5 and it will be difficult to sell at N87 without assurances from the NNPC of refunds.
“An attendant at a filling station along Adebayo street said: “We are still selling at N97 because we are still selling the stock we procured before the announcement of the new price. I don’t think that will be possible until we finish this one.”
But a commercial driver, Mr. Kehinde Falayi, condemned filling stations selling at the old price saying: “I’m sure they would have adjusted their pumps if it were to be the other way round.”
Petrol Still Sold at N97 Per Litre in Akure
The story is not different in Akure as almost all filling stations in the state save the NNPC mega station sold all through yesterday at the old rate of N97 per litre.
In all the filling stations visited yesterday, petrol was sold for N97 per litre.
However, petrol was sold for N87 at the NNPC Mega Station on Akure-Owo Road.
It was a different story at smaller NNPC stations in the town as fuel was sold for N97.
When asked for their reason in failing to comply with the government directive, dealers said what they were selling was supplied based on N97 per litre.
They promised to change to the new pump price at the exhaustion of their stock.
In Oyo, Filling Stations Still Sell at N97
In the same vein, most filling stations in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, are yet to comply with the directive as they are still selling at the old price of N97.
Visits to the filling stations round Ibadan metropolis revealed that only one of the major marketers (Total filling station) effected a change in its pump price to the new price of N87.
A manager of one of the filling stations, Mr. Bolaji Hamsat, told THISDAY that he was still waiting for the engineers to re-adjust the pump.
Motorists frowned on the reluctance of filling stations especially independent marketers to comply with the directive.
Fuel Marketers Yet to Sell at New Official Pump Price in Lagos
Almost 24 hours after the federal government announced a reduction in the official pump price of petrol, operators of retail outlets and depot owners in Lagos are yet to comply with the new price regime, THISDAY observed.
THISDAY observed that while the depot owners were still selling at the old ex-depot price of N90 per litre, operators of filling stations were also selling at the old official pump price of N97 and above.
While the filling stations that were opened for business were selling to motorists and the general public at N97, the depot owners were not selling to other marketers but were loading only their branded trucks taking the products to their own filling stations across the country.
THISDAY gathered that the depots that do not have retail outlets were not selling at all, while some operators of retail outlets, who feared that the regulatory agencies might swoop on their facilities to enforce the new price regime, closed their filling stations, with the intention of selling late in the evening and at night.
The depots were selling at the old rate with Ascon Oil, Capital Oil, Dee Jones, Heyden Petroleum, Folawiyo, MRS, OBAT, Gulf Treasure and Techno Oil selling at ex-depot price of N90 per litre, while Integrated Oil and Gas was operating with a price tag of N89.50 per litre.
THISDAY however gathered at NIPCO depot that the company had directed its 150 outlet managers to comply immediately with the new price regime or be sanctioned.
Some of the depot owners, who spoke to THISDAY, argued that they could not immediately adjust to a new ex-depot price because the Sunday announcement by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke, was silent on the new ex-depot price.
But THISDAY however gathered that a new ex-depot price of N77 per litre was communicated to the marketers by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) yesterday evening.
With the ex -depot price unchanged, some operators of filling stations, who spoke to THISDAY argued that they could not sell at the new pump price until they exhausted their old stock, so as not to be shortchanged by the government in the payment of subsidy.
In Enugu, Old Price Remains
ThisDay checks at most of the filing stations in the Coal City state showed that while major marketers still retained the old pump price of N97, the other independent marketers also retained their old pump price of N100, while some others still sold at N110 per litre.
The NNPC mega stations within the metropolis were not left out as they continued with the old price regime claiming that they were yet to get any formal communication to the contrary.
A fuel attendant at the NNPC station at Nike, who gave her name as Ugochi told THISDAY that they had not been informed of the change in price.
“We only heard that from our customers; no official communication has reached us but I can assure you that once we get the official directive, we’ll comply,” she said.
Abuja Records 70% Compliance
•PPPRA pegs new ex-depot price of PMS at N77.66/litre
But despite the poor and slow compliance across the states, there was a significant measure of compliance yesterday in the Federal Capital territory, Abuja
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday said that about 70 per cent compliance to the N87/litre regulated pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) announced by the federal government on Sunday was recorded in Abuja.
DPR said it had deployed surveillance teams led by its Director, Mr. George Osahon, to ensure full compliance in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the PPPRA has said that the new ex-depot price of PMS is now N77.66 per litre following the price reduction by the government.
The spokesman of DPR in Abuja, Mr Mohammed Saidu, said in an interview that the agency was poised to ensure full compliance with the directive.
“The Director of DPR, Mr George Osahon, and other management staff were on the field today in Abuja to enforce strict compliance with the directive by the petroleum minister on the reduction.
“We are happy with the level of compliance and success stories recorded so far,” Saidu said.
He noted that about 70 per cent of the filling stations visited had changed the meters to reflect the new pump price as announced by the federal government, adding that the few who are yet to comply with the order explained that their engineers were not handy to effect the changes but would adjust their meters as soon as they show up.
Two service stations in Kubwa, the NNPC retail outlet and Oando filling station specifically refused to reduce the pump price to N87 per litre.
Meanwhile, a statement from PPPRA said that the new ex-depot price would take effect immediately and that oil marketers are expected to adhere to it.
Reduction of Pump Price not a Surprise, Says Ndoma-Egba
The Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), has stated that the reduction in the pump price of petrol by the federal government was expected.
He said this in reaction to the reduction in the price from N97 per litre to N87 per litre.
He spoke yesterday at his residence in Ikom, Cross River State, where he noted that “The reduction was expected given that petroleum prices are internationally denominated. The prices are going down in the global market, so it was expected that it will also go down in the domestic market. I believe that there will be even further reduction in due course, if the price of crude doesn’t go up”.
Ndoma-Egba dispelled insinuations making the rounds that the reduction in price is politically motivated, saying: “I don’t think the decision is political, I think it’s more of economy. I believe as the international fundamentals and dynamics play out, it will also be reflected in our domestic economy.
“Nigeria is not the only country that has reduced petroleum prices as a result of the global trend, even in United States; they have recently reduced price of pump price of fuel.
“It has also come down in most other countries of Europe and Asia. It’s an economic matter and all those other countries are not having elections. So for me it’s not a political decision, it was expected in line with the global trend.”
Despite the reduction of the fuel pump price, most gas stations in the state have not reflected the new price.
Most independent marketers in Calabar still sold at N97 per litre.
However, major marketers in the state have adjusted their pump price to N87 as announced by the federal government.
Fuel Stations in Kwara Yet to Comply
Also in Kwara State, the pump price of petrol remained at N97 per litre as most filling stations in the state are yet to comply with the directive.
A visit by THISDAY to some of the fuel stations in Ilorin yesterday revealed that petrol stations still sold fuel at the old price of N97 per litre to motorists.
Also, reports from the major towns of Offa, Omu-Aran, Ajase-Ipo and Oro among others, showed that motorists are said to be purchasing the petrol at the same old price of N97 per litre.
But at the mega stations of the NNPC across the Ilorin metropolis, the fuel was selling at the new pump price of N87 per litre.
It was gathered that the independent and major petrol dealers in the state were said to be complaining of buying the last product before the pump price reduction at a higher price from the depot. They argued that reverting to the new price might not be feasible unless they sell the last product they bought with higher price.
Sources close to the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeri (IPMAN), Oke-Oyi depot, in Ilorin revealed that they would soon comply with the new directive.
“We want to appeal to the people of the country to kindly bear with us and everything will be normalised in due course for the people of the country”, they said.
However, a motorist, Alhaji Muideen Adewusi, berated the action of the members of IPMAN for not effecting the new pump price of petrol at the rate of N87 per litre.
He said: “I know that if the federal government increased the pump price of petrol from old price of N97 per litre to say N100 per litre they will not be giving any excuse and they will surely comply with the directive with immediate effect.”
Fuel Price Reduction: Fair Compliance in Edo
However, the story was a little different in Edo State as the reduction was greeted with an appreciable level of compliance among petrol dealers in the state.
A visit by THISDAY in Benin City to some of the petrol stations showed that petrol was sold at the new price of N87.00 in some stations while some are yet to comply.
Among the petrol stations visited were NNPC mega filling station on Sapele road, Zeeko Oil and Total on Akpakpava road, all of which recorded compliance.
However, it was not so at one of the Oando petrol stations in the capital city which was sealed off by Edo State Petroleum Monitoring Committee for failing to adopt the new pump price.
Upon enquiry, an official of the station, who declined to give her name, said she was yet to receive instruction by her management to effect the new pump price.
But the Chairman of the monitoring committee, Mr. Soni Idahagbon, who ordered the shutdown, said that the fuel station would remain under lock and key until it effected the new price.
He also warned other defaulters to adopt the new price or face sanctions, adding that, “they have a similar fate or even worse awaiting them for any act of misdemeanour.”
Rights Group Condemns Price Slash
But despite the excitement in some quarters about the price slash, a human rights group, Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People (CDRP), has decried the economic rationale behind the federal government’s reduction of the price of petrol, saying the decision was not in the interest of the masses.
The group, which described the federal government’s action as parochial, noted that the action was politically motivated.
In a press statement issued by the acting National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Saka Waheed, the group decried the government’s action.
According to the group, “The N87 price of a litre of petrol is still arbitrary in the face of near worthless global oil.
“In case the government does not know, the main message of the 2012 protest was that there is a limit upon which government can take people for granted.”
The group therefore noted that the government has no basis to keep the retail price of PMS at N87, adding that the price of PMS must revert to N65 with