By Sunday John
Lafia – Filling Stations in Lafia, Nasarawa state are still selling petrol at the old price in spite of the downward review of ex-depot price of the product from N113. 28k per litre to N108. 00K by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited some filling stations in Lafia on Saturday, reports that petrol still sells for N125.
The filling stations visited by NAN Correspondent include Sandaji, Total, Mobile, Shafa, Popsy and Nagoda filling stations all in Lafia.
NAN reports that the ex-depot price is the price at which the depot owners sell the products to independent marketers.
The marketers are then expected to sell the product above the purchased price, by about N9 per litre.
When contacted on the development, Abubakar Usman-Sandaji, Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state, explained that the reduction was in the price of petrol at the depot.
The IPMAN chairman, who is the owner of Sandaji filling station further said that the price reduction was in lifting petrol as being sold to private depot by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and not a reduction in the pump price.
According to him, most marketers prefer to buy at the private depots at a higher price due to the delay encountered in lifting the product at the NNPC depot.
“The petrol we are selling was bought at N113 per litre from private depots.
“So, when you add money for diesel, allowances for drivers, and other expenses, it would be around N120.
“So, we sell at N125 per litre to get a little profit to enable us pay our staff and maintain other facilities so as to continue to be in business,” the chairman added.
Usman-Sandaji urged the government to always consult widely with the marketers and other stakeholders before reducing the price of the product.
He then called for total deregulation of the sector, saying it was one of the major solutions to the perennial problems in the business of petroleum products in the country.
When contacted, Mr Abdulraham Mohammed, Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Lafia Field Office, gave an assurance that the office would soon go round for enforcement of the new directive.
The controller explained that DPR’s activities were being slowed down by the effects of the prevalence of the coronavirus pandemic, one of which, he said, is the directive by the government that staff from level 1-12 should work from home.
He, however, said that as from next week, the enforcement team would go out to ensure compliance with the new price regime provided by the government.
Mohammed, therefore, called on owners of filling stations in the state to always adhere to directives as they relate to the prices of petroleum products to avoid any face off.