Fuel Scarcity: Why marketers want petrol pump price to increase [Pulse Explainer]
Many fuel stations that open for business are already selling beyond the official price of N165 per litre.
In the last few days, the scarcity of fuel has been witnessed in Lagos, Abuja, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Abeokuta, Jos, and many other cities across the country.
In Lagos, it’s been three days of struggle to get fuel with motorists, and commercial drivers spending hours at petrol stations to fill their tanks.
The situation worsens by the day as many fuel stations are shut while the few that open for business are besieged with long queues of commercial drivers, motorists, motorcyclists, and jerrycan-carrying individuals who need to power their machines with petrol.
The worsening fuel crisis in Nigeria, however, has been attributed to the demand for an increase in pump price by marketers and the astronomic increase in the price of diesel.
Marketers’ demand for pump price increase
The approved and official price for Premium Motor Spirit, (petrol) in Nigeria is N165/litre, but marketers are currently kicking against this saying the price is no longer sustainable.
This prompted the marketers to begin an unapproved price regime over the weekend as many of them maintained that selling at the official price is tantamount to running at a loss.
In a statement by its Lagos State Depot (LSD) Secretary, Akeem Balogun, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said, “With the current price, there is no way we can sell less than N180 per litre.
“Members are hereby advised to sell at a sustainable price within their environment. Just make sure that the price is on your pump.”
Following this directive, many fuel stations that open for business are now selling beyond the official price of N165 per litre.
Some petrol stations in the Igando, Ojo and Iba axis of Lagos currently dispense the commodity at N170 per litre.
Why do marketers want the pump price to increase?
Oil marketers believe the solution to the current fuel crisis in Nigeria is to increase petrol prices and have it approved by the Federal Government.
The marketers’ demand is based on the argument that the cost of diesel used in transporting petroleum products to retail stations has risen from about N250/litre to around N850/litre due to the Ukraine/Russia war.
Russia is one of the largest producers of diesel, which is the major product used in transporting fuel to filling stations.
But since the war started in January, prices of crude have increased astronomically and buying diesel from Russia has also been very difficult.
According to Zarma Mustapha, the Deputy National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, the marketers have engaged the government on the rise in the price of diesel but “unfortunately, the price has continued to rise and based on that the government made an upward review of the bridging claims.”
So, basically, the extra cost incurred on diesel which currently stands at N820/litre is the main reason the marketers are calling for an increase in the official pump price of petroleum from N165 per litre to nothing less than N180 per litre.
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