…PETROAN says filling station owners are being run out of business
Petroleum pump price in Nigeria has been increased to N151.56 per litre, with effect from yesterday, September 2, 2020.

This new price is up from the N138.60 it sold in August. Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) and other major stakeholders insist that under deregulation, government has no business fixing fuel prices, not without the knowledge and participation of major stakeholders.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) downstream subsidiary, the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), issued a directive yesterday to all stakeholders and depots nationwide bringing new development to their notice. 

An internal memo at the Ibadan depot, to all the stakeholders on September 2, 2020, signed by the Depot Manager, D.O. Abalaka, read. ‘’Please be informed that a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform.

“To this end, the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) is now one hundred and fifty-one naira, fifty-six kobo (N151.56) per litre. This is effective 2nd September 2020.”

In a recent interview, the Managing Director of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), Adetunji Oyebanji, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), predicted that the pump price of petrol in September may be as high as N155 per litre.

The marketers had been selling petrol at a retail price of between N148 and N150 per litre, while the NNPC through its retail outlets have been selling at N145 per litre in August as the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) remained silent.

Following the deregulation of the downstream sector and the removal of fuel subsidy by the Nigerian federal government, the PPPRA had said that it would on a monthly basis, advise the NNPC and the oil marketers on the guiding retail price at which petrol would be sold across the country.

But some oil marketing groups have been arguing against this role of the PPPRA. Last week, President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Dr Billy Gillis-Harry said that government has no business determining prices of petroleum products, adding that the current regime in the hands of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) comes with expensive frustration in the retail end of the value chain where members of PETROAN operate.

In an exclusive interview with Orient Energy Review, Dr Harry said the international standard is for the major stakeholders to meet with government agencies like, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the PPPRA, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and consider the succeeding price bands.

The downstream major stakeholders include, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), etc.

He said the idea of government representatives sitting away from the stakeholders, especially fuel station owners, and fixing the petroleum pump price at will is counterproductive.

“When a products buyer buys today at and buys at N128 per liter, but wakes up tomorrow and he is told the price band has jumped to N148, he thinks the product seller is dishonest. He hardly listens to the story of government fixing the price.

“August is gone. The feeling and tendency that Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRC) may be coming up with another price band that will be inimical to the retail outlet owners and marketers, is killing,” he said in the interview last week.

Harry who was former President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Industry and Commerce stressed that the incessant fixing of prices is squeezing PETROAN members out of business, and soon there may be no more bulk buyers of petroleum products.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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