Friday, November 13, 2020 1:38 pm
It was certainly not a good morning for most Nigerians as they woke up on Friday to be confronted with the fact that they will now pay more to buy petrol into their vehicles.
A letter by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) that began circulating on the social media late Thursday had indicated that ex-depot price of petrol has been adjusted from N147. 67 to N155.17 effective form November 13.
In the letter, PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC involved in importation of petrol said the adjustment was in response to the increase in landing cost of petrol.
Consequently, it was speculated that with addition of marketers’ margins and the cost of transportation, the price of petrol will shoot up to nearly N170 per litre from N160-162 per litre.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) confirmed the new price in a notice to retailers who are its members on Friday morning.
“The PPPMC last midnight told us that the ex-depot price is now N155. 17 per litre. We have directed our marketers to sell for N170 per litre,” IPMAN National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, said.
Earlier reports on Friday had indicated that most filling stations in Lagos were not selling fuel because of uncertainty of the new pump price.
A NAN correspondent who monitored the situation at Ikeja, Iyana-Ipaja and Abule-Egba areas of Lagos State observed that only a few filling stations were still selling petrol at the old pump price of N159 per litre.
Others, especially those owned by independent marketers, were not opened for business thereby creating fear of fuel scarcity among motorists and residents of the areas.
IPMAN’s President, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, told NAN that there was no need for panic buying because the move was based on the price notation to marketers by the PPMC.
He said: “We buy from them and we heard that there is a new ex-depot price.
“Now people will like to know whether that is true from the source so that they will not sell at a loss.
“So the marketers are waiting for clarification from PPMC because a lot of people were not privy to have seen the memo.
“Hopefully, it will be resolved soon and everybody will start selling.’’
Okoronkwo insisted that the Federal Government was right to remove subsidy on PMS in spite of the hike in the pump price of petrol which may hit N170 soon.
He said: “We know this was bound to happen as the price is now determined by market forces but it will be beneficial to the country in the long run.
“More investors are coming into the sector and once we are able to refine our products locally, the pump prices will reduce.
“Walter Smith Refinery in Imo is already up and running and people have started loading products from there. Dangote Refinery in Lagos will soon start operation too.
“We have others in Bayelsa and Rivers and by 2021 we will be expecting the prices to stabilise.’’