Femi Asu, PunchNG
Fuel marketers have started adjusting their petrol pump prices amid the supply shortage facing private depots in Apapa.
Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states increased the pump price of petrol to N170 per litre on Tuesday from N162 per litre.
Some of the stations were Capital Oil and Gas, Fatgbems and Amo Oil, all along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Another station, Enyo Retail, adjusted its pump price to N165 per litre from N162.
The National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, told our correspondent that members of his association had to increase the pump price because they bought the product at N160-N161 from depot owners.
The PUNCH reported last Thursday that IPMAN members disrupted loading of petroleum products at private depots in Apapa on Wednesday as well as Ibadan, Ejigbo and Mosimi depots belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
They picketed the facilities to protest their inability to get products due to a new payment method introduced by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
“My members buying from DAPPMAN members are buying at N160-N161, and they will have to add their transportation costs to it. So, at what price do you want them to sell? Even that N170 is still very cheap,” Osatuyi said on Tuesday.
He said the PPMC had told marketers to register under the new payment method, called ‘PPMC Customer Express’, before they could buy products from it.
“Right now, PPMC has said that the era of ATP (Authority to Pay) has gone. It means that payment has to be made online. So, my members are now in the process of doing that, and without doing it, we cannot lift products,” he added.
The NNPC, which has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years, is still being relied upon by depots and marketers for the supply of the product despite the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.
Our correspondent also gathered that many private depots in Apapa, Lagos, from where many marketers get petroleum products for distribution to other states, were running dry of petrol due to supply shortage.
When contacted, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr Kennie Obateru, told our correspondent that there was no shortage of petrol supply from the NNPC.
He said, “We have 1.7 billion litres of product as at today, which will give us about 40 days’ sufficiency. Even some more vessels are on the programme.
“And we have not increased our ex-depot price; even though we know some of them (marketers) are sort of slowing down because they are expecting that we will react to the crude oil price increase. But for now, we haven’t done that.”
One of the major private depots told marketers to stop payment for the petrol because of the supply shortage and the uncertainty over when it would get the product.
A top official of a Lagos-based oil marketing company told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that there had been erratic supply of petrol to private depots in Apapa since last week.