More than one week after unveiling a new retail price regime for premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has released a new ex-depot price of N479.50 per litre to fuel marketers.
Previously, the NNPC had fixed its ex-depot price of petrol at about N179 per litre.
Ex-depot price is the cost major and independent petroleum products marketers have to pay to lift and bridge petrol from NNPCL fuel depots for distribution to consumers at filling stations across the country.
Following the unveiling of a new pricing template which raised the retail pump price for petrol by over 195 percent from an average of N195 per litre to between N488 and N557 per litre, the NNPC came under severe pressure from Nigerians to disclose how it arrived at the new price regime.
Although the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the new prices were products of the interactions with market forces, Nigerians insisted on knowing the ex-depot price the NNPC relied on to calculate the new prices.
However, the marketers, who are mostly members of either the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) used the prices unveiled by the NNPC as the benchmark to fix their retail prices, which varied between N540 and N600 per litre, depending on location.
Although the marketers said they were not against the removal of subsidy on petrol, the IPMAN National Vice President, Abubakar Maigandi, expressed concern that the NNPCL was allocating petroleum products to them from its depots based on the old rates issued more than eight months ago for the new rates.
Maigandi said the ex-depot price at of NNPC’s fuel depots showed marketers were lifting products at the rate of N479.50.
The IPMAN President lamented NNPC’s application of new prices based on old tickets issued to his members.
“You know the banks are charging you based on the money they lent to you.
“Again, we, the Independent petroleum marketers, have already purchased the product from NNPC after eight months. Now they are saying they will give us the product for this new rate and not the old rate we paid at.
“And it is with our money that they (NNPCL) bought this product. These are part of the challenges we are encountering now,” Maigandi said.