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Petrol Depot Owners Raise Price By N9 Per Litre

There are indications that petrol shortage might emerge as the Private Depots have increased the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol price to N157 per litre, from N148/litre in different parts of the nation.

Investigation by Vanguard, yesterday, showed that the development has discouraged many marketers, especially the members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), who lift 90 per cent of their petrol from the depots, belonging to Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN members.

In a telephone interview with Vanguard, the National Operations Controller of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi, who confirmed the development, said: “We are aware of the development because our members procure about 90 per cent of supplies from DAPPMAN members. We are currently reluctant to lift for now. But very soon, we would be compelled to sell at higher price because we have to recover the costs.”

According to him, their reluctance is based on the fact that the government would not allow them to sell in excess of the regulated above the regulated band of between N162-N165 per litre.

Investigation by Vanguard showed that the hike in the price of petrol was attributed to high exchange rate, currently hovering at N570 per dollar in the black market.

Under the current arrangement, the Nigerian national Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, remains the sole importer of the product into the nation, thus enhancing or enabling the government to subsidise the product.

But the private depot owners, who spoke with Vanguard, said that they take the delivery of the product from the NNPC at the high seas and incur the additional cost of utilising vessels to take the product to their depots.
According to them, the payment of the vessels is done in dollars, which they source at the cost of N570 per dollar, thus bearing additional cost that cannot be recovered at the current regulated price of the product.

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, Olufemi Adewole, could be reached for comments last night.

But a source involved in the business, said: Certainly, it has become difficult or impossible to sell petrol at the regulated price, especially now that we incurring cost in dollars.”

However, the development dated back to 2018, when the former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, had sent a letter informing the Minister of Transport about approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop making the charges in the United States dollars.

In the letter dated January 17, 2018 and sighted by Vanguard, which copies were also sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Kyari had stated: “Kindly note that the President has approved that Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA charges, relating to import of petroleum products, currently paid in US dollars under the PPPRA pricing Templates should henceforth be paid in Naira.”

However, the instruction was not implemented, thus retaining the ongoing practice of basing charges in dollars.

In any case, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Malam Garba Deen Muhammad, said: “We have sufficient product that can last over 30 days. If they are panicking due to the change that followed the reforms, it is unnecessary.”

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