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Marketers seek upward review of petrol pump price, citing exchange rate concerns

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CITING Nigeria’s currency problems and worsening exchange rate crisis, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is agitating for a hike in the pump price of petrol.

IPMAN members argue that “catapulting” exchange rate has invalidated the current pricing template.

Petrol marketers have resorted to selling at different prices since early this year as the naira value continued to plunge and cost of logistics, especially transportation, soared with the price of diesel ever increasing

While pump prices at the NNPCLtd’s filling stations and at major marketers’ like Total range from N169 in Lagos to N174 per litre in Abuja, independent marketers have been selling from N179 to N200 per litre across Nigeria.

They admitted they have been selling above the official pump prices because they have lately been buying the product above the ex-depot rate from the private depots.

The marketers also said smuggling activities have been affecting their business as neighbouring West African countries sell a litre of fuel smuggled there from Nigeria as high as N500.

“The exchange rate is always catapulting. With the present situation, they have to modernise (review) the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited rate because the dollar has gone up,

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“”The cost of dollar is going up every day. So, it has become difficult to maintain the rate. We cannot sustain the pricing we are using. Even neighbouring countries where our petrol is smuggled to are selling up to N500 per litre,” the IPMAN president, Debo Ahmed, said in Abuja on Tuesday, November 9, 2022.

Ahmed noted that the Federal  government was finding it difficult to remove the subsidy on fuel because of its implications for the masses.

“Because of the masses, the government has no option but to continue payment of the high price of subsidy,” he said.

He maintained that since marketers had been buying petrol between N185 and  N190 per litre from private depots, it had become impossible for them to sell at the official rate.

Ahmed regarded it as “unfair” that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) “that cannot regulate the private depots will beam its searchlight on independent marketers.”

His words, “The  NNPCLtd template is still there, but private depots use the template they like. Their prices are from N185 to N190 per litre.

“If they (government) cannot checkmate the private depots, there is no need for them to checkmate us that are buying from the private depots. NNPCL is the sole importer that is giving the product to the private depots.”

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An independent marketer, Mike Osatuyi, said, “I buy petrol at N186.50k per litre from the depot and it costs me about N9.50k to get the same litre to the pump after paying levies.

“How do you want me to sell at N169 per litre when I have incurred additional costs?”

Osatuyi declared that no petroleum marketer would sell petrol at the regulated price of N169 per litre with the current realities, and when landing cost is N194 per litre.

He added that the government agency saddled with the responsibility of petroleum importation and pricing should be held responsible for the price disparities at the fuel stations.

“The current price of petrol does not reflect inflation, foreign exchange costs, union dues, and transportation,” the marketer pointed out.

 

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Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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