Many filling stations across Lagos and Ogun States have increased the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called Petrol, from N161/litre to N173/litre.
Though the Federal Government has not officially increased the pump price, some marketers have increased the price while others decided to hoard the commodity, waiting for an official hike announcement.
This was disclosed in an investigation by Nairametrics. We found that most of the stations visited now sell between N167/litre and N170/litre.
While stations like Jof Petroleum, sell at N173/litre, NNPC (both in Magboro) sell at N167/litre and others like Conoil, Capital Oil, Lagos (all along Lagos-Ibadan expressway) have also increased their prices too.
One of the attendants, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that the management of the station instructed them to adjust the meter, as the government is expected to increase the pump price soon.
She said, “We have been selling from two out of our five dispensers and that is not because we don’t have the product but because we don’t want to run out when the price is increased later.”
The manager of NNPC, which sells at N167/litre, said, “It is difficult for marketers to profitably sell at the approved pump price. We have been running at a loss before now, so it is important for us to make money as the cost of petrol would definitely increase soon.”
In a statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Ukadike, he said, “We met as regards the emerging trend in the downstream supply of petroleum products. We had a Central Working Committee meeting last Wednesday where stakeholders looked at the trends.
“We were able to look at some of the policies and the introduction of e-payments by PPMC and the challenges therein, as well as the issue of buying products from other private depots and the profiteering in that section.”
According to him, it is not possible to sell at the government approved pump price of N162 to N165/litre at filling stations, because it will be difficult for marketers to make any amount of profit selling at such price.
On the other hand, NNPC has insisted that there won’t be any increase in February, adding that the development is due to the rise in the price of crude oil in the international market.
According to NNPC, the decision was to allow ongoing engagements with organised labour and other stakeholders to be concluded as regards an acceptable framework that would not expose Nigerians to hardship.
Though the NNPC claims not to have increased ex-depot price, private depot owners have raised their prices.
Also, while it is only some stations that have increased their prices, it is expected that the cost of the commodity will definitely rise in other outlets in a few days.