Petrol marketers have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, threatening to abandon private depots if the government fails to intervene to end price disparity.
The Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Satellite depot, who also represents the South-West, Akin Akinrinade, told journalists on Wednesday in Lagos that depot owners would buy fuel at N148/litre from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited but sell to IPMAN members at N220/litre.
“In the last three months, the petroleum distribution sector has been experiencing some turbulence. The authorities in charge, instead of resolving the challenge, have been giving us excuses, especially around the mother and daughter vessels. What we have noticed as an association is price disparity. While the major marketers are selling at the rate of N170 per litre in their stations, and retail outlets at N169, private depots are selling to us at N220 per litre ex-depot price,” he said.
Akinrinade noted that IPMAN members did not have a choice than to sell at N250 per litre in Lagos, and above N250/litre at other areas.
“After paying the N220/litre, we will add other logistics and transportation costs. By the time it gets to our stations, there’s no way we will sell below N250/litre. We are not comfortable with this because Nigerians see us as being responsible for the hike in price. But we want Nigerians to know that it is not our making that we have to sell at that price. As a matter of fact, we are not comfortable selling at that price any longer, and we want the authorities to address the issues around price disparity.
“If major marketers are selling at N170/litre and still make profits, I think the issue of the mother-daughter story by the DAPPMAN can’t be bought anymore,” he said.
“We call on NMDPRA to look into the issue at the private depots. We know petrol is regulated, and as long as it is regulated, it is a product held in trust for Nigerians. When you hold something in trust, you are not supposed to profiteer. We are all commission agents, especially because the products are being subsidised.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority has assured the public of adequate fuel supply across the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the government agency, Farouk Ahmed, gave the assurance during an unannounced working visit and tour of depots at Apapa, Lagos, on Wednesday.