Abuja — Oil marketers, under the aegis of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Sunday, disclosed that they are yet to commence the purchase of premium motor spirit, also known as petrol, at the N108 per litre ex-depot price.
In an interview in Abuja, National President of PETROAN, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry, also added that promises by the Petroleum Products Marketeing Company (PPMC) that refunds would be made to its members were yet to materialise.
According to him, retail outlets owners still purchase the commodity at around N113 per litre, despite the PPMC’s directive to depot owners to sell at N108 per litre ex-depot price, noting, however, that efforts were still ongoing to ensure refunds of the differentials were made to the marketers..
He stated that the actions of the PPPMC and the inactivity of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, were fuelling uncertainty in the downstream segment of the Nigerian petroleum industry.
Gillis-Harry revealed that following the lack of clarity in recent policies in the downstream petroleum sector, oil marketers had resolved to prevail on the PPPRA to provide direction.
PETROAN comprises owners of all the petrol retail outlets across the country, and its members are either major or independent petroleum products marketers.
He said, “First, N108 per litre had been announced by the PPMC as ex-depot price; we have the communication both from the PPMC and the PPPRA. But the reality is that there is no implementation of that as it is today.
“Our members have been loading from the refineries at the last price, which is about N113 per litre. The idea was that they are going to do a credit note back to marketers. Right now, that has not been implemented. The normal thing is to do credit note back to marketers.
“We were also advised by PPMC on Thursday, to send back our old forms. You know marketers, what we do is that sometimes we buy up to 10 trucks or 20 trucks ahead. Now, those purchases, hey have been locked up there, we have not loaded. Now we have been asked to return those forms. When you pay, you are given a form, it is the form that you take and go back to regularize your lifting processes. Now we have been told to return that.
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“Basically, when the forms are returned, they would be regularised to the current N108 or whatever it is. But right now, that has not been done. Of course, you can also see that there was no band issued by the PPPRA for products sales. Normally they give a lower band, say N123 per litre and a higher band, say N125. That has not been done.
“In my capacity as the National President of PETROAN, I am reaching out to marketers, our members, to try to reach out to the authorities, to be able to know exactly what the scenario is. That is the reality. We today, will assume that there is some level of partial deregulation by this process.”
Gillis-Harry further disclosed that members of the association are planning to commence importation of petroleum products in the near future, stating that they are already in talks with Nigerian banks and some foreign partners on this issue.
He said, “In the nearest future, we might venture into importation. Do not forget that we form the highest base of clients for petroleum ex-depot purchases. This is because it is our members that form Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), major marketers, NNPC Retails outlets. If we do not have products from NNPC, we would fall back to Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA) members.
“If DAPPMA members are not readily available, our members would not starve the public of our essential services. So the chances of us pulling our resources together to bring in cargo from time to time, until a designated timeframe, for onward distribution to our members directly would not be ruled out.
“We are already getting to that; we are already talking to consortium of banks; we are talking to foreign partners, to be sure that we have the right marketing prices and to be sure that the Nigerian public is not starved at anytime of petroleum products.”