Despite NNPC’s best efforts, Marketers retain need to increase fuel pump price

NEWS DIGEST – Oil marketers, in the fear of suffering a loss from the week-long fuel scarcity, are urging the federal government to effect a slight increase in the price of premium motor spirit.

Marketers note that the current benchmark price of PMS, which is N165 per litre, is no longer sustainable for the smooth operation of oil companies.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria said on Thursday it has communicated to the federal government the pleas of oil marketers that there was an urgent need to increase the price of fuel.

According to the oil marketers, there is little logic in selling for N165 per litre when it was purchasing the product from private depots at N170 – N175 per litre.

“So everybody is suffering and the only way out is for Nigerians to make or accept a little increase in petrol price,” said Bennett Korie, president of the National Gas Suppliers Association. “This will also ensure that the foreign exchange spent on petrol subsidy is reduced for us to have forex for diesel imports too.”

Thursday’s statement signalled a change in stance by IPMAN. Earlier on Wednesday, IPMAN ordered its members to continue to sell at N165 per litre, noting NNPC’s best effort to reduce the ex-depot price to N143 per litre so marketers could still make a profit selling to customers at the benchmark price.

Long queues and petrol stations on lockdown have already become a theme in most Nigerian cities, causing Nigerians to spend long hours at petrol stations.

Many oil retailers have begun dispensing fuel to customers at prices as high as N180 per litre in economic hotspots like Lagos and Abuja. And when they are unable to get fuel from the stations, Nigerians are getting exploited by buying from the black market at N250 per litre.

Consequently, the pricing of motorists has increased as they attempt to retain their profit within these new conditions. And some companies, which rely heavily on diesel, have reduced work hours or workers’ pay to sort production costs.

“You use diesel to get fuel to fillings stations, you use it to run the generators of various businesses in Nigeria because there is no light across the country,” Mr Korie said.

“So this is the only way out,” he added

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