The Federal Government, through its Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, has increased the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, to independent oil marketers, in a bid to avert a further hike in the pump price of the commodity.
Oil marketers confirmed on Friday that the national oil company listened to their demands for an increase in the volumes of PMS released to independent filling stations, so as to curb the widening disparity in the cost of petrol.
They told our correspondent that the move by NNPCL had now improved the availability of products in retail outlets operated by independent marketers, adding that the national oil firm also promised to sustain this.
On Wednesday, The PUNCH exclusively reported that oil marketers warned that there could be an imminent hike in fuel price due to the poor supply of the commodity by NNPCL.
They cautioned that the disparity in the pump price of petrol would further widen due to the incomplete delivery of products to many filling stations.
According to the report, dealers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, said there was a lopsided pattern in the distribution of PMS lately, stressing that this would cause scarcity and worsen the price disparity in retail outlets.
“Here in Port Harcourt, for instance, we have Oando and NNPC Retail, and they have products in some private depots. Master Energy and Liquid Bulk also have products, but there is no volume for independent marketers,” the National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, had stated.
He added, “Independent marketers have no volume in all these depots and we have over 3,400 tickets lying and waiting at the NNPC Retail account.
“This new system is now making independent marketers beg for petroleum products from NNPC Retail. The lopsided distribution pattern will continue to cause scarcity and price disparity in retail outlets.”
But when asked on Friday whether the NNPCL had listened to the demands of oil marketers, in order to avert the imminent price hike, Ukadike replied in the affirmative.
He said, “The NNPCL supplied 13 million litres and informed us about it. This is to cushion the effect of the poor supply in the affected areas. They also promised that they will ensure that marketers are given products back-to-back.”
The IPMAN official assured PMS consumers that with the sustenance of adequate supply by NNPCL, the cost of petrol at filling stations operated by independent marketers, would always revolve around the government-approved price.
NNPCL is the sole importer of PMS into Nigeria and this has continued for several year. Other marketers stopped importing the commodity due to the difficulty in accessing the United States dollar for PMS imports.
The marketers now source the commodity from NNPCL at a subsidised cost, for onward distribution to consumers across the country.
“That is the situation of things now. The recent supply of PMS has really helped in making the product available in many retail outlets across the country. So, with enough supply, the issue of unnecessary price disparities would be addressed,” Ukadike stated.
On Thursday, The PUNCH also exclusively reported that the consumption of petrol in Nigeria had risen to about 80 million litres daily, pushing up subsidy on the commodity to an estimated N484bn monthly.
The report stated that an analysis of PMS weekly evacuation/dispatch data from March 4 – 10, 2023, obtained from NNPCL, indicated that a total of 558.83 million litres of petrol was evacuated during the period, translating to an average daily consumption of 79.83 million litres.
Around mid-last month, the Group Chief Executive, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said about 66 million litres of petrol was pumped daily into the market by the oil firm, as the company was spending about N202 on every litre of PMS consumed across the country.
SOURCE: THE PUNCH