Nigerians may soon start to pay more for the purchase of petrol. This is according to marketers of the commodity.
In the latest development on the possible increment of petrol, oil marketers under the aegis of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) warned that the rising cost of petrol at depots would definitely warrant a commensurate increase in pump price if not checked.
According to the petrol dealers, going by the market challenge and reality, the commodity is projected to rise from the current N162-N165 per litre to N170 per litre for consumers.
The dealers also hinted that the commodity’s depot price is projected to increase from N159 per litre to N165 per litre.
On the possibility of a hike in the pump price of petrol soon, the National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu said it was inevitable if the current increase in depot price persists.
Asked if the high depot cost could result in an increase in pump price, he replied, “Yes, because if you look at our profit margin, you will realise that it is regulated and fixed.
“And they (government) often talk about deregulation. But you cannot do deregulation in a regulated market. There is a band and you say you are doing deregulation.
“So for marketers, any moment from now, we will be pushed to take the band above N165 to N170 if this situation continues.”
Chinedu further argued that there had been problems with product availability, contrary to the position of the NNPC that it had enough petrol that would last for months.
The IPMAN spokesperson 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 product is from the few ones that have.
“And as a result, profiteering will set in and they will be selling at N159 to N160/litre. You (marketers) will now consider moving the product to your filling stations, particularly for marketers who don’t get bridging claims.
“Now 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 added, “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.”
The 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.”
NNPC advises Nigerians not to panic, says petrol price will remain…
Contrary to insinuation by the marketers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) maintained its stance that it had enough petrol to last the country all through the festive season and beyond, and there is no reason to panic.