The crisis and confusion in the petrol supply chain persists as the scarcity of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) persists across the country.
Marketers, who have the product to dispense, sell at arbitrary prices above the N162/N165 approved for a litre. They blame this on the hike in ex-depot prices.
Marketers, who shut their filling stations to consumers, say they would be selling at a loss if they buy a litre from the depot at between N170/N175 and dispense at the regulated price. The ex-depot price as fixed by the regulators stood at N148 as at last night.
Only few stations vend petrol at the regulated price. Prices ranged between N170 and N200 per litre in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The litre price is higher in the hinterlands.
In the midst of that, the regulators – Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited — appear to have lost control.
The Nation reports that a reliable source said that the marketers, who had been complaining about high cost of operation, were emboldened to raise the pump price after a meeting with the NNPC Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari last week.
In Lagos, Ogun, Abuja and in many other states, the arbitrary prices are displayed on the metres, fueling speculations that the regulators were privy to the price increase. NMDPRA has refused to post the PMS price template on its website.
An Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), who pleaded for anonymity, put the landing cost of PMS at N500 per litre.
The source confirmed that marketers were getting supplies from the depots at N175 per litre as against the approved N148 per litre. This, the source further said, could trigger fresh hike in pump price and long queues at the retail outlets.
The IPMAN source added: “The fact is that private depots owners are increasing their prices to N170 per litre. We don’t know what is really happening. Some have even selling N175 per litre. There is an increase of N27 per litre. But because of Sallah, we cannot understand whether it is the cause of the fresh queues in Abuja.
“There is no circular for increase of pump price from the government. However, I learnt they (some marketers) held a meeting with the GMD. He is the one who said they (marketers) should increase it (the pump rate)”.
Most of the filling stations in the FCT were shutdown, while some sold the product for N185 and N195 per litre, major marketers boldly changed the rate to N175 per on their sign posts.
NMDPRA’s General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Kimchi Apollo could not be reached for two days through his phone for confirmation of the official pump price. He did not respond to the call.
He also did not reply to the text messages.
The NNPC spokesman, Mallam Garba Deen Muhammad, did not respond to calls from The Nation.
Checks carried out yesterday by the newspaper on the NMDPRA’s report titled: “Petroleum products stock-days”, showed that as at July 17, 2022, there was a total petrol stock of 1,786,121,330 litres. The document noted that land based stock was 645,360,193 litres and marine stock was 1,077,106816 litres.
It added that there was total stock less dead stock of 1.722,467,009 litres and a depot dead stock of 63,654,321 litres.
According to the document, the stock would last for 28.71 days.