The Federal Government has officially increased the price of petrol by 8.8 per cent to N185 per litre, from N170 per litre.
The ex-depot price also shot up from N148 per litre to N167.
However, Vanguard’s findings show that many filling stations have been selling far above this new price, a situation which may have made the new price almost unrealistic.
In a notice to fuel marketers, yesterday, the government directed that the new price should take immediate effect.
Vanguard gathered yesterday that a few petrol stations belonging to the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, have already adjusted their pumps in line with the new price directive.
The development caused further anxiety for motorists who spent hours in fuel queues in search of the product.
A source said an internal memo was sent by the government to all marketers, including the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.
We lift at N240 per litre —IPMAN
However, responding to the development, the President of the IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okonkwo, told Vanguard yesterday, “So I heard but we are waiting for the circular because without that we cannot do anything. Hopefully, by tomorrow (today) we will get a clearer picture.”
When told that some major oil marketers have adjusted their pump price to the new approved price, he said, “well they can adjust as the product is scarce to get at the moment, but with the new approved price, we hope to get products so we can sell to consumers”
Commenting on the development, the National Operations Controller, of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said his members had continued to lift the product at N240 per litre.
However, most independent retailers of petrol in Lagos have adjusted their pump prices to between N290 and over N300 per litre.
But most of the IPMAN petrol stations do not have stocks of petrol, forcing a few with the products to sell at exorbitant prices.
An independent market, Betsy Petrol at Alimosho LGA, Lagos told Vanguard that they were actually selling the last stock they had yesterday.
“I have pity for the Keke Marwa (commercial tricycle operators) and Okada (commercial motorcycle riders) who have been coming to the filing station in search of fuel. That is why I decided to open today and sell the little stock I have”.
The Federal Government had earlier concluded plans for the gradual removal of petrol subsidy from April 2023 in order to achieve stability in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
Total deregulation required —Marketers
Similarly, the Chairman, of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Olumide Adeosun, had earlier called for gradual deregulation of the sector.
He had said: “MOMAN, as an association, fears that the current supply framework cannot guarantee steady and consistent supplies to the country given the current state of government finances and unpredictable international supply shortages. We, therefore, recommend a gradual price deregulation with targeted palliatives (eg. Transport and agricultural subsidies) to the public to ease implementation.”
It’s step in the right direction —CPPE
In a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, said the development is a step in the right direction.
He stated: “This is a step in the right direction, but insufficient to make any meaningful impact because Nigerians are currently buying at prices ranging between N200 and N400 per litre in different parts of the nation.
“We need to gradually move from here to possibly full deregulation in order to attract significant investment into the sector for the benefit of the nation.”
(C) Vanguard Newspaper. 2023.