Hardship In Nigeria Fuel Price Hits N200/Litre As Scarcity Lingers

By NewsBits

Fuel or petrol sold for between N198 and N200 in Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo States on Tuesday against the official pump price of N165 as more filling stations complained of short supply.

Vehicular queues lengthened in the few stations that had supplies while bus stops were crowded by stranded commuters, who were agitated by the skyrocketing fares charged by transporters.

The Western zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed the development on the lack of fuel at depots of the National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). Private depots reportedly hiked prices to N178 per litre as against N145.

IPMAN said it was practically impossible for its members to continue to sell at N175/180 per litre. But the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) insists that there is enough fuel to last 24 days.

The latest report on its website titled, “Petroleum Products Stock and Days of Sufficiency Data” shows that 1,546,880,583 litres of fuel were available. Chairman of IPMAN Western zone, Dele Tajudeen said yesterday: “None of the NNPCL depots has petrol.   Private depots took advantage of the situation to hike the price. The only option for our members is to opt for private depots to keep our business moving.

“We are totally against the increase because it will affect our profit margins and the masses. “Some private depots who have the product, deliberately, refused to sell for reasons best known to them”.

Tajudeen called on Nigerians to absolve his members of any blame in pump price increase because “buying at N178 per litre from depots and selling at N170 or N180/litre is not realistic”.

He added: “Our members have no other option than to sell between N195 and N200 per litre within Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states. We will sell between N200 and N210 in Kwara, Ondo, Osun, and Ekiti states.

“Most of the tank farm owners have justified the increase because of different charges, among which are vessel charges paid in dollars. We are equally calling on the management of the NNPCL and NMDPRA to investigate the arbitrary increase in fuel price by the private depot owners”.

An official of the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria blamed the scarcity on a shortfall in product allocation from the NNPCL.

Sources said lifting petrol by even NNPCL franchise filling stations has been challenging in the last five days.

A station manager of an NNPCL filling station in Ogun State said that he had not been able to get petrol for his station for five days. He siad: “For five days now, I have been parading the depot to lift fuel but to no avail. Besides, prices have been increased at private depots because since my station is under NNPCL, we cannot increase pump prices without a directive.  I can’t also go to any private depot to buy because I won’t be able to sell at the regulated price by NNPCL.”.

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