Marketers Deregulate Fuel Sale, Price Hits N150

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Consumers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol have continued to lament as the price of product has risen from N87 to about N150 per litre in different parts of the nation.
Investigations showed the rise in price is fuelled by many irregularities, including extortion at depots, jetties and filling stations.
It was learnt that tanker drivers who queue for weeks before they can lift petrol pay various undisclosed fees to secure early loading.
Consequently, both major and independent marketers are unwilling to sell at the official regulated price of N87 per litre.
The independent marketers, in particular, regularly shut their stations in the day and sell only at night at higher prices to desperate buyers.
Even some that open and night also close their gates to motorists as well as sell at higher prices to consumers who come with jerry cans.
The Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Femi Olawore did respond to telephone calls.
But an authoritative source remarked that the marketers have decided to keep sealed lips but intensify efforts toward compelling the Federal government to settle their outstanding subsidies.
“From what we have gathered, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari would not likely pay us. That is why we must be strategic in ensuring that we get our monies from the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government.
He stated that it is a firm resolve marketers not to flood the market with adequate so as not to give impression that the problem has been resolved.
Investigations showed that the suffering of consumers have been compounded because the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR which has the responsibility to monitor and sanction erring filling stations have not yet intervened.
The Director of DPR, Mr. George Osahon whose agency has not done enough to check illegal practices could not be reached for comments.
The Spokesman of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr, Ohi Alegbe had indicated in a statement that the Coporation supplied 1.2 billion litres for consumption.
The Corporation said the stock could last for 31 days going by the 40 million daily consumption of the product in the country.
The Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Mr. Haruna Momoh who made the disclosure in Abuja said that 21 additional vessels laden with petroleum products are offshore Lagos waiting to berth.
Momoh said the NNPC had made adequate arrangements to ensure energy sufficiency in the country and reassured motorists that the noticeable queues at the filling stations would thin out in the days ahead.
He maintained that the NNPC has 21 days sufficiency of Automative Gas Oil (AGO) otherwise known as diesel and 18 days sufficiency of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) otherwise known as kerosene.
He announced that as part of efforts to ensure petroleum products sufficiency and distribution, the NNPC embarked on aggressive Reception Depots rehabilitation in 2011 adding:
The PPMC MD disclosed that the Corporation suffered petroleum products losses worth N40.8bn through pipeline vandalism in 2014 stressing that no business could survive such a loss and still remain a going concern.
Momoh said that there was a marginal increase in pipeline vandalism stressing that in 2013, the Corporation recorded 3517 vandalized points but in 2014 the figure increased to 3774.
The Managing director indicated that 97 pipeline vandals are undergoing prosecution and regretted that since the cases started a few years ago none of the accused persons have been convicted for economic sabotage.

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