Petrol queues re-emerged in Abuja, the nation’s capital and its environs on Monday, following the release of a new petrol pricing template by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, with most stations selling above N200 per litre. Despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC that there would be no increase in ex-depot price, the new N212.61 per litre template triggered massive rush to filling stations by motorists.
Checks around adjoining towns showed that most stations had adjusted their pump price to between N200 and N212 per litre. The PPPRA which quickly deleted the new template, clarified in a statement that “the Guiding Prices posted on our website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in pump price of PMS”.
The statement signed by the PPPRA Executive Secretary, Mr. Abdulkadir Saidu however admitted that petrol pump is determined by prevailing market price. “The Agency wishes to remind the general public of the introduction of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 as gazetted by the Federal Government.
Based on this regulation, prices are expected to be determined by market realities in line with the dictates of market forces. “One of the conditions for the implementation of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 is the monthly release of Guiding Price to reflect current market fundamentals. “The PPPRA in line with its mandate to maintain constant surveillance over all key indices relevant to pricing policy, monitors market trends on a daily basis to determine Guiding Prices.
“The Agency is not unaware of the challenges with the supply of PMS due to some concerns leading NNPC to be the sole importer of PMS.
PPPRA is also mindful of the current discussion going on between the government and the Organised Labour on the deregulation policy. While consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing, PPPRA does not fix or announce prices and therefore there is no price increase. The current PMS price is being maintained while consultations are being concluded”, the agency stated. Saidu added:
“Even though market fundamentals for PMS in the past few months indicated upward price trends, the pump price has remained the same and we are currently monitoring the situation across retail outlets nationwide”. But speaking the petrol situation in the country, the National Public Relations Officer of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Elder Ukadike Chinedu said as at Monday morning no depot was loading trucks. Chinedu stated that most IPMAN stations source their products from independent depots since most NNPC depots were nonoperational.
According to him, “Some of the private depots have shut down operations and are not loading. As at last week we were buying products at N160/61 depending on where the depot is situated. So the marketers were selling at N170 per litre. “The bulk of independent marketers buy from independent depots because the most NNPC depots are obsolete and most are not working even those that are working are not working in full capacity.
“On Monday, what were loaded in Port Harcourt Refineries were 46 trucks, this is a depot that can load about 1,000 trucks in a day. The day before yesterday they loaded only 34 trucks. The 34 trucks is the combined for all independents, major marketers and retail outlets owners. “For a depot that serves six states you can imagine the kind of problem that has created. It is a very big problem and it is not surprising that you are seeing queues in filling stations”.