Nigerians at mercies of marketers as NNPC fixes kerosene price at N150

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has fixed N150 per litre as the official depot price of kerosene.

Since the government deregulated the entire sector months ago, the price of the petroleum product has been adjusted about two times. And the impact of the deregulated forex regime, too, has shot up the cost of importation.

Currently, the NNPC is the sole importer of kerosene, though it uses private depots to sell the product.

But Chairman, South-West of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo, stated at the weekend the current price will encourage more importation of the product by petroleum products marketers.

Adding transportation and other costs to the official price, most of the filling stations will now be selling kerosene between N190 and N220 as the pump price.

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“The NNPC has has directed all its depots and private depots to comply with the directive,” said Borordo.

Critics of deregulation believe compliance, in a capitalist market, may not happen fast, and Nigerians, whose earnings and purchasing power have been eroded by the current inflation rate (14.5 percent), are going to bear the pain.

Apart from Lagos, Oyo, and Ogun which are closer to the Apapa Port where the imported product lands, other states in the hinter land may not be able to get the product even at the N220 upper limit the NNPC gives.

Korodo, however, commended the federal government for its transparent policy in oil and gas sector.