The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has slammed the ‘unsustainable’ pricing at which private depot owners in the country sell premium motor spirit, also known as petrol.
The Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, disclosed on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday that the private depots acquire fuel at the permitted price of N148/litre from the single importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited. However, independent marketers can sell it for as much as N195 to N210, which is not sustainable.
”Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
Mustafa urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja. Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market. The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.