-Price ranges N175-N185/litre

 Oil marketers yesterday unilaterally raised the pump price of petrol from N165 per litre to N185 in disregard to the Federal Government approved pump price of N165 per litre.

The hike which came a day after Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, said the current price was no longer realistic saw the disappearance queues at filling stations around Abuja metropolis.

Checks at some filling stations showed that while some stations raised the price by just N10 per litre, most hiked the price by N20.

At NIPCO filling station in Mabushi District, the price was N175 per litre with few vehicles in the station.

Speaking to Vanguard, a motorist who identified himself as Mallam Ibrahim noted that it was better to buy N175 per litre than to spend four hours on the queue waiting to buy at N165 per litre.

He said: “My friend, is this not better? Why should we spend so much time just to buy petrol? Even though I do not support full deregulation because of its impact on the price of goods, the government should have raised the price a little to accommodate the complaints of the marketers and save people the agony of queuing every time for fuel”.

At Mobil filling station in Karu, the price was N185 per litre without queues also. However, the price remained at N165 per litre at TotalEnergies filling station at Central Business District.

Speaking on the development, the Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadike said it was expected as marketers have to cover their cost of operation.

Ukadike explained that the marketers have been running at a loss these past months, pointing out that most stations closed down because of this.

According to him, “Abinitio, we have also stated that there is no way marketers will buy products from private depots who are now selling at N170 and some at N167 depending on the area the tank farm is situated. These private tank farms owners have made it clear that they cannot sell at government approved price.

“Marketers cannot buy at N167-N170 and you expect them to sell at N165. This is why marketers have looked at the high cost of logistics because diesel is at N850 per litre now and to transport product from these wet areas to dry areas cost a lot of money.

“If you look at Abuja you will see that it does not have any depot that supplies petroleum products. All petroleum products in Abuja, Kano and other northern areas of the country are being taken from wet areas like Lagos, Calabar and others which have seaports.

“The products are all imported and Nigeria is heavily dependent on imports because the refineries are not working. So the private tank farms are now used to supply petroleum products to marketers. We are now left in their hands and whatever they sell to us, we will mark up our margins and sell to customers, the end users”, he added.

He explained that pump prices would vary from one filling station to another across the country because of where the product was sourced by the marketer.

“While those (marketers) in Calabar might buy at N170 or those in Port Harcourt at N162 or those in Lagos at N163 depending on how the tank farm owner got his product, if you include cost of logistics and the numerous taxes government have imposed on us, then the end result is what you are seeing”, he stated.

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