By Olanipekun Olayinka
Following the reduction in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N145 to N123.5 per litre, Oil Marketers have said the expected reduction in the price of diesel and kerosene price has not been materialised due to inability to access foreign exchange(FX) for importation in recent weeks.
The Executive secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Clement Isong, in a telephone chat with Nigerian NewsDirect said products are imported to marketers at a lower price.
According to him, “ the sales of petrol is faster than kerosene and diesel that before a month, petrol tank would have been empty this is not the same with kerosene and diesel because of the low level of consumption.
“Moreover, marketers are still selling these two product at the old price is because majority are still selling the old stock and if the decide to sell at the new price, it will be to their shortage”
Isong reiterated that under normal circumstance, petrol price ought to be going down slowly but the Federal government decided to effect an immediate reduction which led to a massive loss without allowing downward adjustment based on the new stock coming in.
He further it known that such has not happened for other products.
It is obvious that the pump prices of the two products had yet to reflect the collapse of global crude oil prices despite the deregulation of the products by the Federal Government .
The pump price of petrol , which is still being regulated by the government , was reduced to N 125 per litre from N 145 per litre on 18th March. A new price band of N 123 .50 -N 125 per litre was also announced few days ago.
Nigeria NewsDirect gathered that Kerosene which is used by many Nigerians for cooking , is being sold for N 230 per litre in parts of Lagos , while diesel prices ranged from N 210 to N 240 per litre .
Data obtained from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency showed that the landing cost of diesel was N 121 .54 per litre on March 6 , while the indicative open market price stood at N 133 .36 per litre .
While reacting to the imbalanced prices on the part of some marketers, a high ranking executive of Depot and petroleum Marketers Assciation of Nigeria DAPMAN on tuesday wednessday told NND correspondent that some marketers still sell diesel at N240 per litre which he frowned against.
He said “ how long will it take to sell old stocks, i know of filling station that sell diesel at N240 per litre while others sell between the range of N195, N200 and N205 per lite. Moreover, when those selling at a higher rate starts loosing customers, the will adjust their pump.”
Also commenting on the statement by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Melle Kyari , that petrol subsidy had gone forever , IPMAN boss said it is a good move by the federal government, adding that Nigeria would no longer carry the cost of petroleum subsidy.
He said, “this statement by Melle Kayari means that if crude oil price goes up, dollar goes up and vice versa. Also, a situation where government has been subsidizing the price will now be determined by the market forces and this can be properly done if everyone buy dollar at the same rate.”
DAPMAN senior officer described the development as a reasonable step adding that if there is full deregulation , entities such as the Petroleum Trust Fund and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulating Agency PPPRA will no longer exist.