…IPMAN wants petroleum authorities to enforce approved price on private depot owners***
The Federal Government says the fixed pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) remains N165 per litre as stipulated in the petroleum product pricing template.
The government also advised Nigerians against panic buying of PMS, also known as petrol, saying that the country currently had over 2 billion litres of PMS in various depots.
This was made known by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company after visiting jetties in Apapa, Lagos, on Tuesday.
The depots visited by the top officials of the agencies were NIPCO Depot and TotalEnergies Depot.
The newsmen report that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had on Monday advised its members to adjust the pump price of PMS to a minimum of N180 per litre.
The marketers had said the move was necessitated by the increment in the ex-depot price of PMS by some private depots where they were buying the product from.
However, Mr Ugbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure (NMDPRA) maintained that petrol was a regulated product and urged marketers to comply with the pricing template.
Ukoha said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had led to an increment in the cost of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel), which was a critical product used in transporting petroleum products from the depots to the retail outlets.
He said: “So when we observed that this poses a big challenge in the movement of other products, we made the representation to the Minister of State for Petroleum and Mr President graciously approved that the freight rate for trucks is increased.
“There’s an N10 addition, which we will apply to the different routes to enable trucks to move to docks easily with less burden.
“With these kinds of efforts from the government, we can only continue to appeal to operators within this industry to play by the rules.
“PMS is a regulated product and the prices are fixed.
The ex-depot price is known.
The pump price remains N165 and the authority is ever ready to enforce those rules.
“So, we will continue to urge Nigerians to keep within these operating rules.”
Ukoha said the focus of the stakeholders in the next few days would be to close the supply gaps and resolve the ongoing scarcity of petrol as soon as possible.
Also, Mr Adetunji Adeyemi, Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC Ltd., said the purpose of the visit to the depots was to get first-hand information on the challenges responsible for the current scarcity.
Adeyemi said despite the challenges globally in terms of the supply chain, NNPC had continued to provide petroleum products, specifically PMS to Nigerians.
“Today we have about 2 billion litres of PMS in-country, which is about 34 days sufficiency. So, there is sufficient petrol in the country.
“We are working with the entire stakeholders and players in the downstream sector to ensure that this product gets to the distribution channels and also the stations.
“We want Nigerians to continue to enjoy free flow of petroleum products,” he said.
Mr Isiyaku Abdullahi, Managing Director, PPMC, said the company had been supporting transporters and marketers with diesel in form of palliative to ensure the smooth distribution of PMS and ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians.
Abdullahi said three vessels carrying about 60 metric tons of PMS were currently discharging at the Apapa jetty, which would be further transported to Lagos and other parts of the country to restore normalcy.
On their part, Mr Suresh Kumar, Managing Director, NIPCO and Mr Ernest Umunna, Site Manager, TotalEnergies, assured Nigerians of product availability at their depots.
They also promised to carry out 24-hour trucking operations to ensure that the scarcity situation in Lagos was resolved within the next few days.
In another development, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to mandate private depot owners to sell petroleum products at approved government prices.
This is contained in a statement by the IPMAN Chairman, Kano Chapter, Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, on Tuesday in Kano.
He said the call was necessary to check flagrant and indiscriminate increases in the ex-depot price.
Danmalam said unless the NMDPRA ensured private depot owners sell the product at the approved price, they would continue to dispense the product to marketers at a higher price.
He also commended the Federal Government for the recent upward review of petroleum products’ transporters’ freight rate.
According to Danmalam, the gesture would assist in checking the challenges associated with the transportation of petroleum products across the country.
He also refuted the claim that about N1 billion was paid to Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
“I challenge all those making such claims to bring out relevant receipts for the payment of such money to enable the union to take up the matter.
“In February 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, NNPC introduced ‘customer express’ whereby payments for the purchase of petroleum products are done online.
“And the NNPC then set up a committee which ensured that all those with tickets paid manually, were given the product.
“I was a member of that committee which supervised the supply of the product to those marketers who paid manually before the introduction of customer express.
“So, to my knowledge, the only products not delivered by the NNPC is on the recent payments made.
“NNPC has since stopped collecting money from marketers, except through the customer express when it’s sure of having the products in any depot across the country,” Danmalam said.