Fuel Price Increase Imminent As FG Meets IPMAN MOMAN

Motorists Queuing for fuel

The Federal Government has said it was currently appealing to oil marketers on issues bordering on the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, fuel queues, bridging claims payment, among others.

According to feelers coming from Abuja, the meeting might lead to an upward adjustment in the pump price of petrol, as oil marketers had repeatedly blamed the persistent fuel queues in various parts of Nigeria on the unsustainable cost of PMS.

This is coming after the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday joined their counterparts in the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association to call on the government to gradually raise the price of PMS.

Earlier, IPMAN and NOGASA had pushed for the upward review of petrol price, as some members of IPMAN had already effected this by selling above the N165/litre government approved price.

Currently, some of them already dispense petrol at N180/litre and above in many states including Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Niger, among others.

Following the demands of the various marketers groups, the General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, Kimchi Apollo, said that the government was currently engaging the oil dealers, reports The Punch.

“We are meeting them now on the various concerns, so don’t worry. By tomorrow you will know what is the outcome,” he stated.

Apollo added, “The NMDPRA is engaging them in a meeting that is ongoing, so I’ll let you know the outcome. Hopefully, by tomorrow you will know the outcome of the meeting.”

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Asked if the meeting was being held with just MOMAN or all oil marketers, the NMDPRA spokesperson replied, “We cannot engage only MOMAN, we are engaging all of them. We are engaging them so don’t worry. You will know the outcome later.”

The sole importer of petrol into Nigeria – the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, however, insisted that it was not a regulator of oil prices and would not comment on whether the cost of petroleum products would be raised on reduced soon.

“If you can call Shell and ask them for comments on petroleum products’ prices, then you can call us (NNPC) and ask us for such comments,” a senior official at the oil firm, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation, stated.

The source added, “We don’t have any kind of regulatory function in the sector, we are just operators now. It is the government that manages that. And based on the Petroleum Industry Act, we are no longer an appendage of government.

“The company is owned by Nigerians and the government is holding it in trust, but we don’t have any governmental role in terms of pricing, control or whatever. Although we are mandated to be the supplier of energy security, we are not a regulatory body.

“So we don’t control the price, we don’t regulate price, we have no control over any of those, as well as other similar issues.”

But the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, Mohammed Shuaibu, whose unit covers Abuja, Kogi, Niger and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna, stated that though the association had informed the government about the issues in the sector, he was unaware of the meeting by the NMDPRA.

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He reiterated that the cost of petrol was unsustainable at N165/litre, stressing that some filling stations in Abuja were currently dispensing the product at N185/litre, as they now purchased the commodity above N168/litre from depots.

Shuaibu also noted that the indebtedness of the government to marketers with respect to bridging claims must be settled, otherwise the strike by IPMAN members would hold soon.

“The cost of petrol at N165/litre is not sustainable. Bridging claims need to be settled and these are issues that should be addressed to avert the impending strike,” he stated.

These concerns came as the scarcity of petrol continued in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states on Wednesday, as some filling stations shut their doors to customers, citing lack of products to dispense.


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