Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol will now be sold between N170/litre and N190/litre in filling stations across the country, following what is believed to be a subtle agreement between Federal Government officials and oil marketers.
Findings by The PUNCH on Sunday revealed that the development was the outcome of a meeting between the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and oil marketers on Thursday. Sources privy to the meeting said it was agreed that the pump price of petrol should be increased by N10 per litre.
A market survey on Sunday revealed that price display boards at some petrol stations in Lagos reflected new prices starting between N170 per litre and N175 per litre. However, some other filling stations sold above these prices, with some selling as high as N185/litre. Oil marketers denied holding a meeting with the NMDPRA on the subject matter but sources close to the matter confirmed to the correspondent that the meeting actually held.
The officials said the NMDPRA agreed marketers could increase their pump price to N165-N175/litre for filling stations inside towns, and a maximum of N190/litre for those on the outskirts. “The meeting was held and everybody was told to keep mum. A band of N165-N175/litre was approved for the filling stations inside towns, while N189 was approved for those outside towns,” our source said.
The NMDPRA could not verify this claim as of press time on Sunday. The spokesman for the NMDPRA, Kimchi Apollo, did not respond to several calls made to his telephone line. The National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, explained the reasons behind the fuel pump price hike. Osatuyi, who also denied that a meeting held between oil marketers and the Federal Government on Thursday, however, disclosed that there was a fresh increase, describing it as a “market fundamentally determined price.”
“Petrol now sells between N175-N180 per litre depending on the area. Petrol is now available and as you can see, the queues in Lagos and Abuja have disappeared. We are businessmen and it is impossible for us to run at a loss. Marketers are allowed to sell at a minimum price of N170 and a maximum of N180. There is something we call market fundamentals; this is what came into play here. This is because it is impossible to bring the product into your station at N170 and sell at N165,” he said.