Fuel Price: Government May Have Unofficially Approved N179 As Price of Petrol


From all indications, the Federal Government may have approved an upward review of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol from N165 per litre to N179 per litre,

This is according to some unofficial industry sources.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is to be officially unveiled today by President Muhammadu Buhari as a commercial equity firm that is to be guided according to the rules and regulations of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA)

 A top official of oil marketing in the country told Business Standards: “I would not call it approval, either tacit or anything, the issue is that the government has been presented with facts on ground. The cost of operating business, whether from lighter vessels that bring fuel offshore Apapa, Lagos, the cost has gone to about the range of $15,000 per day to about $50,000 per day.”

“The cost of operations at the terminals have gone up exponentially because they are running on diesel, even the filling stations themselves, because of the power situations. All these facts have been put forward to the government.”

“The marketers have said that essentially operating at N165 is no longer feasible, so I don’t know whether that is what the government has acted on.

If it is just a matter of how to get fuel then, everybody would be losing money, and people would rather close their stations to survive. It is not a matter of approval, but people are saying look, we have to sell at this price to survive, maybe those information supplied to the government is realistic. And if knotting is happening to adjust the pump price, maybe people are practically doing what they need to do to survive, this is the way I see it.”

Some operators of petrol stations told Business Standards that their bosses have directed them to fix the pump price at N179 per litre and N230 per litre in spite of the harassment of government agents.

An official of one of the leading associations in the downstream had to Business Standards about two months ago that given the way things are going in the industry the markets may be allowed to fix themselves in terms of price without any official announcement. It does appear that what is happening now.

In Abuja, some of the filling stations sell at a pump price between N210 and N230 per litre depending on which area it is sold. At Ayetoro- Gbede,  Kabba and its environs in Kogi State the pump price is N210 per litre where the fuel is available.

Even in Lagos, some filling stations, especially, the independent filling stations sell at N200. Consequently, when customers enter these filling stations they will discover that there are queues.

When asked while there is relative stability in the sales of the product at  many filling stations, one of the operators said,  if they are not allowed by government agents to sell at a price that they would  make at least little gain there would not be petrol to be sold at the filling stations

NNPC in a notice to fuel marketers directed them to change the petrol price on pumps to the new price effective today. This was even as the company equally increased the ex-depot price from N148.17 to N167 per litre.

This came after weeks of petrol scarcity resurfaced across the country as fuel retailers were adopting different price bands to force unofficial deregulation attempts.

Already, majority of filling stations in Lagos have adopted different price models. While some filling stations have changed the price on their meters to reflect the current price they are selling at, others have left theirs to show the approved retail price of N165 per litre but were selling above the displayed price.

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