March 3, 2024

Petrol prices crash at depots amid low demand

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Petrol prices crash at depots amid low demand

… IPMAN denies plan to hike petrol to N700 per litre

Private Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) depots have crashed the prices of fuel amidst speculations of a rise to N700 per litre this month.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday denied a plan by the association to increase the pump price of petrol to N700 per litre this month.

On the contrary, The Nation confirmed that private depots crashed their prices to between N495 and N496 per litre from between N502 and N503 per litre.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) depot however retained its N479.6/litre price.

National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, said on the phone that the crash in prices stemmed from low demand for fuel.

He said the high prices caused by the new foreign exchange policy were beyond the means of customers.

He said: “They (private petrol depots) are even reducing the prices compared to last week’s. They are selling at the rate of N495 to N496/litre. You know it reached N502 to N503/litre.

“In Lagos, most of the depots, that is what they are selling. NNPC is maintaining its old rate of N479.6/litre.

“There is not much demand because people, especially civil servants, are complaining that there is no money.”

He urged importers of the product to expedite action, noting that there has been no fresh stocking since the removal of the subsidy.

Continuing, Maigandi said: “Nobody has imported petrol since the removal of subsidy. Even NNPC did not import.

“We are all using the old stock. But I know probably this month there will be new stock. If not, there may be scarcity.”

In a separate interview, IPMAN Chairman in the Southwest, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, denied the alleged plan by the association to increase the pump price of petrol to N700 per litre nationwide.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to disregard the speculation and not engage in panic buying.

Tajudeen stressed that the price of the product would not be more than what it is being currently sold.

He commended President Bola Tinubu for removing the subsidy on petrol, adding that it was long overdue.

“Even in the PIA Bill, it is clearly stated that the subsidy must be removed,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“So, I want to commend him for removing the subsidy and I want to say that we are in support totally. This is because the subsidy was a scam.”

He said the slight increase in pump price was because of the transportation cost and that Nigerians should be at rest as the commodity will not be out of reach for the masses.

“I want to disabuse the mind of the people that they should not panic about it. There is no cause for alarm. We are in control and there is nothing like that.

“So, people should rest assured that there is no way they can buy petrol more than the price it is being sold now.

“If we look at the price from NNPC retail limited, which is an integral part of NNPC limited, they have more advantages than independent marketers and major marketers.

“So, it was the retail price that they announced; they had never given a specific price to the independent marketers.

“However, I have read what somebody put in the paper. It is just speculation; it is not a reality. There is nothing like that, I want to assure the masses.

“There is no how the price can go to N700 because even if the FX is N700 or N800, that has nothing to take the price of petroleum from N500 to N700,” Tajudeen said.

He noted that the product had been deregulated hence the differential in prices was due to transportation as it is related to location.

“If you are moving products within Lagos, the price may not be more than N300,000. But if you are moving up to Ibadan or thereabout, it could be as much as N500,000.

“And if you are going to Ilorin, it could be as high as N700,000. That would account for the differential in prices.

“I want to say with all sense of authority that as of today within the Lagos metropolis, nobody should sell more than N515 to N520 per litre.

“Though NNPC has given us the price, the reality of it is that what we buy from the market, because NNPC limited is not the only source for our product; we get from private depots.

“So, whatever we buy is what we put our own margin and sell.

“But as of today, the highest you can get anywhere should be around N550; Lagos N510 per litre; Ogun State between N500 and N520,” Tajudeen said.

The Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria said recently that consumption of PMS had reduced by 20% from 66 million litres per day to just over 40 litres.

Its Executive Secretary, Mr Clement Isong, said adjustment of lifestyle due to increased rates was responsible for the decline in demand.

“What we are hearing is that the consumption came down. It used to be 66 million litres per day for the country, but it came down to just over 40 million litres per day.

“But there are many reasons why it came down. People are still adjusting their lifestyles. The price has also gone up in many countries because in some countries their supply was coming from Nigeria.

“They have all developed alternative supply sources. So a lot of their volumes were coming from and will still come from Nigeria until they develop fewer alternative ways for themselves.

“It is only after they have developed, when the market settles that we will know what Nigeria’s volumes will be.

“Also, remember that we are building a couple of refineries in Nigeria. So, we will have legitimate export of product once we have satisfied our national demand.

“Too, I will say average in the month of June, supply is down by 20% to just over 40ml/day. But it is still not Uhuru. It is not the final position.”

The Nation

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