Outrage as depot price hike may push petrol to N160

The pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, appears set to hit N160 per litre as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has increased the price at which it sells the product to marketers from N138.62 per litre to N147.67.

The Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC, had on Wednesday increased the ex-depot price of the PMS to N151.56 per litre, with marketers saying the product would be sold at between N162 and N165 per litre.

The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold to marketers at the depots.

The N151.56 ex-depot price was announced in an internal memo to all stakeholders with reference number PPMC/IB/LS/020 dated September 2, 2020 and signed by D.O Abalaka.

But the PPMC, in another internal memo dated September 2, 2020 with reference number PPMC/MOD/Sales/346 and signed by Onya Schola, reduced the ex-depot price to N147.67 per litre.

When the ex-depot price was fixed at N138.62 in August, marketers were selling petrol at between N148 and N150 per litre. With a new ex-depot price of N147.67 per litre, the pump price may be between N157 and N160 per litre.

Amidst the different ex-depot prices, the Managing Director of the PPMC, Musa Lawal, told PUNCH correspondents that the first ex-depot price was wrong and should be discarded.

He said the company was investigating how the first memo went out, stressing that although it was from the PPMC, the figures were still being computed and had not been concluded.

Meanwhile, oil marketers told The PUNCH that going by the circulating ex-depot prices for petrol, the pump price for the commodity should hit between N160 to N162/litre.

They also stated that loading of products had stopped at some depots, as marketers were confused on which price to either buy or sell the commodity.

Up till 8pm on Wednesday, officials of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria stated that no authentic communication had been received from either the PPPRA of the PPMC on the pump price or ex-depot price of petrol.

Loading has stopped in some depots because of this confusion caused by the price modulation of guiding exercise introduced by the PPPRA and up till now we’ve not received any notice on either the ex-depot price or pump price,” the National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Ukadike Chinedu, stated.

But the Zonal Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, South- West, Mr Dele Tajudeen, told one of our correspondents that the association had decided that the pump price would be N162 per litre when the ex-depot price was increased to N151.56.

Asked what the pump price would be following the reduction of the ex-depot price to N147.67, he said the association would decide on that later on Wednesday if the ex-depot price remained the same.

“We will add whatever the NNPC has added to our buying price to our selling price,” Tajudeen added.

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