Lagos — Petroleum product marketers in the country, under the umbrella of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, and the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, have warned that the retail price of petrol may hit N170 per litre.
This is an increase in the current N162-N165 per litre price of the product.
The marketers said the anticipated increased in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popularly known as petrol, is as a result of the rising cost of the product at the depots.
According to them, the depot price is projected to increase from N159/litre to N165/litre, if not brought under control.
The National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, who spoke on the possible increase in the pump price of petrol, said this was bound to happen unless the increase in depot price is addressed.
The marketers’ warning is coming amid emerging queues at fuel stations in Abuja and some parts of the country due to scarcity of the product.
The marketers claim supply drop, but, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says there is enough petrol to last the country through the Yuletide and beyond.
NNPC said it has over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more products are expected to arrive Nigeria daily over the coming weeks and months.
However, the IPMAN spokesman 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 products is from the few ones that have.
Creating a scenario of how the anticipated price hike will come about, Chinedu stated that as a result of the unavailability of the product at most tank farms and marketers buying from the few ones that have the product, profiteering will set in and they (marketers) will be selling at N159 to N160 per litre
He added: “You (marketers) will now consider moving the product to your filling stations, particularly for marketers who don’t get bridging claims.
“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?”
Chinedu stated: “Marketers should not be held responsible when the pump price increases. Many tank farms don’t have products. So marketers don’t have any option because if they buy, they sell.
“If there is surplus, you will see marketers selling at N162/litre or below, but right now, you hardly find anyone selling at that price. I also want to let you know that by next week, products will be close to N165/litre at depots.”
President PETROAN, Billy Gillis-Harry, confirmed the position of IPMAN, noting that retailers of petrol at filling stations would adjust their prices upwards beyond the N165/litre if depots continued to sell at unapproved rates.
He said, “Private depot owners have increased their prices arbitrarily by themselves. Most retail outlets are very disciplined now by keeping the pump price within the band.
“But if the depots keep maintaining the N157 to N159/litre as they are doing, there will be no choice for retail outlet owners but to also add the commensurate price to it. That’s the reality.”
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