By Blessing Enechojo Abu
Following the hike and disparities in the price of petrol in the country, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN), has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the federal government.
If their grievances are not attended to at the end of the ultimatum, the association has threatened to abandon private depots.
Complaining about the disparity, the Chairman of IPMAN, Akin Akinrinade told journalists on Wednesday, December 5, 2022, that Lagos depot owners who buy fuel at 148 Naira per litre from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and sell to their members at 220 Naira per litre. Leaving their members with no choice but to sell petrol at 250 Naira per litre in Lagos and sometimes higher in other states.
“In the last three months, the petroleum distribution sector has been experiencing some turbulence. The authorities in charge, instead of resolving the challenge, have been giving us excuses, especially around the mother-and-daughter vessels. What we have noticed as an association is price disparity. While the major marketers are selling at the rate of N170 per litre in their stations, and retail outlets at N169, private depots are selling to us at N220 per litre ex-depot price,”
Explaining the reason for the hike in the price of petrol, he said; “After paying the N220/litre, we will add other logistics and transportation costs. By the time it gets to our stations, there’s no way we will sell below N250/litre. We are not comfortable with this because Nigerians see us as being responsible for the hike in price. But we want Nigerians to know that it is not our making that we have to sell at that price. As a matter of fact, we are not comfortable selling at that price any longer, and we want the authorities to address the issues around price disparity.”
“If major marketers are selling at N170/litre and still make profits, I think the issue of the mother-daughter story by the DAPPMAN can’t be bought anymore,”
“We call on NMDPRA to look into the issue at the private depots. We know petrol is regulated, and as long as it is regulated, it is a product held in trust for Nigerians. When you hold something in trust, you are not supposed to profiteer. We are all commission agents, especially because the products are being subsidized.”
However, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, through the Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed has given Nigerians assurance of the availability of adequate supply of fuel across the nation.