Hard times loom as petrol pump price hits 160/litre at depots despite assurance from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has no plans to increase the price.
As reported by Daily Sun, Some marketers who spoke to Daily Sun under the condition of anonymity, said the price of petrol received from NNPC as at Wednesday was N160 per litre.
They said since the NNPC assumed the role of being the sole importer of petrol, all marketers had since suspended the importation of petrol since it was no longer profitable for them to sell at government’s regulated price of N145 per litre.
‘‘The N160 per litre price is not fixed by us but NNPC because the product is not ours but that of NNPC and that is what they have asked us to sell.
If we buy at the depot for N160 per litre, how much are we expected to sell at the filling station? It is now clear that the N145 price cap per litre is no longer realistic. Let the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) clamp down on depot owners rather than sealing filling stations. It is what we buy that we will sell. We cannot run at a loss,’’ they lamented.
When contacted, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, said NNPC sells to depots at the official price.
“We have not increased our ex-depot price. However the appropriate agencies are monitoring them,’’ he said.
But, a document exclusively obtained by Daily Sun on the market survey position for petroleum products yesterday across some depots in Apapa showed that AA Rano, Aiteo and Nipco sold at N160 per litre.
Recall that the Lagos State Chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), led by its Chairman, Alhaji Alanamu Balogun, had last month threatened to withdraw its services across Lagos State and parts of Ogun State, due to irregular fuel supply at NNPC Ejigbo satellite depot.
IPMAN said it took the decision because its members had been running their fuel stations at a loss over the past eight months due to NNPC’s default in the bulk purchase agreement it signed with IPMAN to sell fuel to its members at N133.28k per litre.
According to IPMAN, a litre of fuel (PMS) was being sold to its members by the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association (DAPPMA) at N141, apart from running costs, bank charges and other expenses which made it impossible for operators to sell a litre of fuel at controlled price of N145, rather they sell at N146 per litre.
The association alleged that while the NNPC had refused to sell fuel to its members regularly, it was diverting the supplies to members of DAPPMA at a price of N117 per litre and DAPMAN in turn, sold to IPMAN members at N141 per litre.
“We believe that NNPC is doing this to deliberately cause fuel crisis because it could not control DAPPMA not to inflate prices beyond government’s fixed prices,” it said.