Lagos — Oil marketers have cried out against what they describe as conspiracy by the Nigerian government to set them against Nigerians through the newly-fixed ex-depot price of petrol.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, last week announced a reduction in the ex-depot price of petrol from N113.28k to N108 per litre without a reduction to the pump price at filling stations.
The National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, in a response to why marketers were yet to reduce the cost of petrol from N125 per litre at fuel stations, blamed it on the federal government.
He said, “When a government organisation reduces the ex-depot price and you are not telling the buying public the approved band for the pump price at filling stations, you are trying to put us the retail outlet owners against the Nigerian public.
“The Nigerian public will now be saying that why are we still selling at N123.5 and N125 per litre when the ex-depot price has been reduced?”
He added, “Since there is no selling band to show the approved lower and higher rates, it could mean that the NNPC, based on its recently announced N108 per litre price, is now leaving the band in the hands of marketers. But it is not our call to determine the band.”
He, however, explained that many retail outlets still have old stock and would have to dispense the products completely before adopting a new petrol pump price, if any.
“Don’t forget that the N108 is not automatic, it was N113 before and all the stock purchased at that rate has not been exhausted. So these are some for the things that need to be cleared,” he stated.
On whether oil marketers had met with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA on these concerns, he replied in affirmative.
“Yes, we are engaging with them because we don’t want our members to fall short of the law”.
“They gave us an ex-depot price of N108 per litre but there is no corresponding price band. I spoke to the executive secretary of the PPPRA yesterday and up till now, there is no other development than what I’ve told you,” he said.
The PPPRA responsible for products pricing has remained silent on the cost of petrol even after NNPC’s announcement of the reduced ex-depot price.
The PPPRA had earlier promised to be carrying out a monthly price review for the PMS but has failed to do so since the beginning of May.