06 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Only weeks from the yuletide season, fuel queues have resurfaced in some major cities across the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos, Ilorin, Benin City and Sokoto.
In many of these locations, oil marketers have increased the pump price to N150 per litre as against the regulated price of N145 per litre.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday announced that it had gone on strike in Lagos over discrepancies in prices of the product from the depot, which accounted for the queues.
But the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it had not increased the pump price.
The marketers said the strike resulted from the failure of the NNPC to grant their demand for reduction in the price of the product.
The members of the IPMAN have said that they buy petrol at N142 per litre from the Depots and Petroleum Products Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), a price, which has left them with little or no gains, after adding transportation and other incremental costs.
They said they were planning a major strike from Monday unless the government averts it.
According to the IPMAN South-West Chairman, Mr. Debo Ahmed said the queue was as a result of the exorbitant price of the products.
He said marketers might go on strike, should the government fail to order DAPMAN to reduce the price at which they supply fuel to them.
Ahmed said, “The queue in some parts of the country, is a pointer to the fact that major one is coming, in the event the Federal Government is unable to avert it. We (independent marketers) really want the NNPC to resolve the problem between the marketers and DAPMAN once and for all.
“We cannot continue to buy fuel at N142 per litre from DAPMAN while NNPC, which remains the only importer of fuel in Nigeria, is selling to DAPMAN at N133. 28 per litre. The margin is too high.”
He added that “If marketers in Lagos are buying fuel at N142 per litre. How much do you think marketers in Ilorin, Kwara State will buy the product, when they add transportation cost to it? The farther the distance, the outlets of the marketers, the higher the cost of transportation.
“In areas such as Benin, Akure, Kaduna, the price of transporting fuel to their desired locations (outlets) would be higher.”
He said marketers were battling paucity of funds, and as such, they are finding it difficult to buy fuel at N142 per litre, adding that marketers were unable to access credit from banks for business.
But the NNPC reiterated that there was no plan to increase fuel price.
In a statement, Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, said there was no plan to increase prices at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the Yuletide.
Ughamadu said the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and pump price of N143/N145 per litre had not changed.
He assured the public that the corporation had enough to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country, especially during the Yuletide.
He urged motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike.
According to Ughamadu, “The NNPC has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders, including petroleum marketers and industry unions, to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond.
“We enjoin motorists not to engage in panic buying or indulge in the dangerous practice of stocking petroleum products in jerry cans at home.
“The Petroleum Products Marketing Company and NNPC Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation,” Ughamadu added.