The pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, may be reduced in filling stations operated by independent marketers this week, following the massive imports of PMS by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, oil dealers stated on Saturday.
A report by THE PUNCH said that the recent hike in petrol prices at retail outlets operated by independent marketers was due to the short supply of the commodity, which led to acts of profiteering by both depot owners and filling stations.
But operators in the downstream oil sector confirmed to our correspondent on Saturday night that several cargoes imported by NNPC Ltd had arrived in Nigeria, as some of them were currently discharging at the ports.
“Once the products start hitting filling stations, fuel price will reduce, because the recent high cost was due to supply drop,” the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, told our correspondent.
On Thursday, oil marketers blamed the emergence of queues for petrol at filling stations in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states on the low supply of PMS by its sole importer – NNPC Ltd
However, the national oil company refuted the position of marketers, as it argued that the queues in the affected areas were due to a “price war.”
But going by the latest development concerning the imports by NNPC Ltd, operators in the sector stated that the queues would not only disappear but there would be a reduction in price at independent filling stations.
Currently, petrol is mostly sold at between N580 and N613/litre at filling stations operated by NNPC Ltd. Most other marketers dispense the commodity at higher rates, with some selling PMS for as high as N670/litre.
“The most important thing now is that cargoes carrying PMS ordered by NNPC Ltd have arrived, some of them have berthed, and they are discharging. So the partial scarcity we are experiencing now will be gone,” Ukadike said.
He noted that the inflow of foreign exchange during the Yuletide would not necessarily impact petrol prices. Rather, the increased imports by NNPC Ltd should warrant a reduction in price.
He said the large PMS imports were confirmed to marketers by NNPC Ltd.
On whether marketers had started receiving the products, Ukadike replied, “By Monday, we will start receiving from Port Harcourt and Warri, based on my last discussion with the NNPC management.”
Another major marketer also confirmed the position of IPMAN, as he stated that “when you wet the market with products, there’ll be no room for profiteering.”
Earlier, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd, Olufemi Soneye, stated that the position of oil marketers as regards the re-emergence of fuel queues was not true, as he insisted that the oil firm had enough products.
“That is not true. The recent tightness in Abuja is essentially a price war that is typical of any competitive market. Motorists would rather queue at filling stations that offer lower prices than others.
“While NNPC retail is selling at N613/litre in Abuja, other marketers’ prices range from N625-N650/litre,” Soneye said. [The Punch]