The Deputy President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Zarama Mustapha, on Thursday complained that the Nigerian National Petrol Company (NNPC) Limited is the sole distributor of petrol to marketers in Nigeria as the federal government suddenly removed subsidy form PMS. Speaking on Channels TV, Zarama Mustapha insisted that in so far as the NNPCL fixes the pump price of petrol under its monopoly, the product cannot sell below N500/litre. He, however, said that the price of petrol will be based on the location of each state from the oil depots across the country.
Zarama Mustapha stated that the NNPCL being the sole importer of petrol fixes the price for oil marketers across the country, disclosing that oil marketers will now lift petrol at over N460/litre at fuel depots. He declared adding transportation cost and profit margin, “the new pump price of petrol will go as high as over N500 per litre.”
Zarama Mustapha declared: “NNPC being the sole supplier is the determiner of how much we purchase. The deregulation is just taking effect. May be with time, they will allow other players to also participate in the importation of the product to compete with the NNPC Limited.
“I still believe the NNPCL is still the government because it is owned by the government.”
The country was thrown into turmoil after President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on Monday, May 29, at the Eagle Square, Abuja, declared that subsidy is gone, adding that the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari did not make provisions for subsidy in the 2023 budget beyond June.
Ironically, the NNPCL on Tuesday, Nigerians woke up to experience new price regime of petrol, as the NNPCL officially adjusted pump price of the petrol. Zarama Mustapha expressed consternation that oil marketers had expected that the new price regime would begin by July and not in May, since the 2023 budget covered June.
Zarama Mustapha had declared: “We were not even expecting that such a thing is going to be implemented before the end of May; we were all surprised seeing a list stating the prices of NNPC retail stations across the nation.
“Each state has its own different price based on the location of the station or the location of the state from the source of the product – that is the depot where most of the products are being lifted and subsequently transported to all nooks of the country.
“As far as independent marketers are concerned, as at now, we have not been officially communicated in terms of the depot price today but there are some papers going round just like the ones we saw yesterday that is stating that a litre is going to be purchased at the private depot at the cost of N460.
“I don’t know the exact price but it won’t be anything less than N460, the new deregulated price that a marketer is supposed to buy. Then you will add up the transportation cost and the marketers’ margin and that will come to whatever price the government has announced yesterday.
“About N51 for transportation from Lagos to Maiduguri. So, if you lift at N460 something, you have to add that N51 and add up your margin for you to at least remain afloat in business.”
Transportation fares has been forced to high ceiling in various cities, while operators are also having problem of accessing petrol even in the new price regime.