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Marketers Experience Tough Times As petrol Hits N200/Litre

The cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, has risen to as high as N200/litre at depots, which means that motorists should brace up to buy PMS above N200/litre at filling stations.

It was learnt on Monday that PMS cost, which was about N178 to N185/litre recently, had been jerked up by private depot owners due to the drop in supply by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, among other operational concerns.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria said that the tankers were now spending more than one week on queues for petrol at depots.

This, they said, had led to empty filling stations nationwide, a development creating chaos among motorists at some of the few outlets dispensing petrol in Abuja, Nasarawa, Niger and neighbouring states on Monday. The National Vice President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, confirmed the reduction in supply by NNPC and the hike in the ex-depot price of petrol at depots in Lagos and Warri, Delta State. 

Magian stated some reasons why the price of the PMS is as high as it is now, noting that NNPC has remained the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for several years running. Other marketers halted petrol imports due to their inability to access foreign exchange without hassles. 

“Firstly, due to that flooded road issue, the products at most filling stations became exhausted. Then, we noticed that there is not enough availability of products because most of our trucks are stuck in various depots,” Maigandi said.

He added, “This is due to the fact that there is not enough supply of products from the NNPC. These are the challenges we have been facing. Your truck will go there and queue for more than one week.

“And you know that when a truck spends one week on a queue without loading, it will cause a serious issue in terms of availability. Again, because independent marketers rely on private depot owners to get products, when we go there to purchase, they sell at almost N200/litre to us.

“They now sell between N190 to N200/litre in Lagos and Warri depots. You can now imagine the cost at filling stations. People should definitely be ready to buy above N200/litre if this situation continues.”

On whether the NNPC was providing any explanation, Maigandi stated that the national oil firm now described itself as a player in the business following its transition to a limited liability company in July.

“Since their transition to a limited liability company, when we raise some of our concerns to them, they will tell us that they are just marketers like us,” he stated.

He noted that the situation had increased the sufferings of the masses and the oil marketers, stressing that the way out was not just to deregulate the downstream oil sector but to get Nigeria’s refineries working.

Maigandi also stated that “Deregulation alone will not solve the problem because Nigeria don’t have the refined commodity in excess. And if they deregulate, the price of petrol may exceed N500/litre,” 

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