Fuel Scarcity: Prices Surge as Situation Lingers

INSIDEMAINLAND -Some Independent petroleum marketers, yesterday, raised the price of petrol to N240 per liter, up from about N230 per liter the day before, as the shortage persisted in Lagos and its environs.

It was discovered that marketers are currently lifting the product from the depots at N200 per litre, as opposed to N148 per litre previously.

As a result, the pump price of petrol has risen to N240 per litre, up from N165 per litre under government regulation, while the total cost has remained stable at N220 per litre, including transportation and margins.

However, the major marketers, who have a lot of capacity and access to the product, kept selling it at N175 per litre.

Long lines were observed yesterday at the retail outlets of major marketers, as many motorists and other users preferred to wait patiently for the product.

Meanwhile, some illegal operators were seen in some parts of Lagos, including Ikorodu Road, selling the product in cans and bottles for N250 to N300 per litre, depending on location.

“Speaking in a telephone interview with Vanguard, the National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mr Mike Osatuyi, said: “Unlike the past when our members used to lift the product at N148 per litre, they currently lift it at N200 per litre. It would be impossible for them to sell petrol at the N165 per litre regulated price.

“Our members pass through many difficulties to get the product at this time. The marketers also spend much to take the product to many parts of the nation because of the high cost of diesel, currently selling at about N800 per litre.”

Similarly, Chinedu Okoronkwo, National President of IPMAN, who confirmed the price increase, blamed private depot owners.

He said: “The real cause of the price hike is the incessant increment in price by private depot owners. A litre of fuel is being sold to us at the rate of N210 and N214 per litre. When you add transport and logistics, you can imagine what the figure will amount to the NNPC monitors and sells directly to us, availability cannot be guaranteed.”

According to a source at the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), there was enough at the depots to meet demand, and members of the association had their products sold at the official price at their various filling stations.

He said: “I can tell you for free that the situation is confusing to me. Last week we had a meeting with NNPC who confirmed to have enough products to last for a long time. Certainly, that is true as there are products at the depots to meet demands.”

INSIDEMAINLAND gathered that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, has not done enough to combat irregularities such as hoarding, diversion, and pump manipulation.

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