Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have told Nigerians to expect a higher petrol pump price in the coming days, saying it may rise to N195 per litre.
They lamented what they described as “inconsistencies” on the part of the Federal government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) and its subsidiary, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) on deregulation policy.
NNPC had last week, ruled out immediate price rise until a scheduled meeting between the Federal Government and labour unions at the end of the month. While the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said it would not react until the price was officially announced, the pro-labour civil organization, Joint Action Front (JAF), said the marketers’ position did not come to them as a surprise, blaming the development on the failure of the trade union movement to defend workers against policies inimical to their interest.
In his reaction last night, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, GPAD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said: “NNPC has not increased its ex-depot price and has no plan to do so in February 2021.”
However, IPMAN members said despite NNPC’s assurance of product availability, independent marketers could not access the product from NNPC depots.
According to the marketers, this has forced them to rely on independent depot owners for supplies.
Speaking in Abuja at the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of Kakanda Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Danasabe Kakanda, accused the government of giving the private depot owners edge over independent marketers. He explained that independent marketers are always left at the mercies of private depot owners from whom they rely for supplies, even though they also own filling stations and compete with the marketers.
He said: “With the inconsistencies of government, Nigerians should expect the price of fuel to be between N190 and N195.”