The Federal Government has said that the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) remains N165 per litre across all filling stations nationwide.
This was made known by the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Mr. Ugbugo Ukoha, in Lagos.
In a similar development, The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says it has resolved to maintain the status quo ante, even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) responded positively to the association’s request by releasing products from their tank farms that can last 32 days.’
IPMAN’s National President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said this at a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, has shed light on the reasons behind the fuel scarcity experienced across the country, particularly in Lagos and Abuja.
During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he highlighted the issue of ‘bridging funds’ between the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and truck drivers who deliver the Premium Motor Spirits (PMS).
“The NMDPRA are the ones administering a bridging fund. At a particular time, they agreed with truck drivers that the bridging fund is going to be about N10 per litre depending on the destination you’re going to all over the country.
“As at when they agreed, the cost of diesel was about N250 so it was fashionable and the N10 was a bit okay but today, the cost of diesel is over N700. It has tripled. So, the expectations from the tanker drivers is that since the cost has gone up, instead of paying me N10.40kobo as the case may be, you have to multiply it by three.
“At the end of the day, that is the first problem”.
Contrary to the belief that PMS is scarce, the PENGASSAN boss said that there’s at least 2 billion litres in stock.
“As at today, we have close to 2 billion litres of PMS, so the problem is not the stock,” he said, explaining that while the stock is available, most of the truck drivers are not willing to move these products “because of the previous problem I just enumerated”.
“One of the issues again is that today, NNPC is the sole importer of PMS, so they import PMS into the country, and this PMS is brought to the high sea, so they rent some smaller vessels to bunker the PMS and take to the various tank farms or depots. So, if it’s the NNPC depots and you are loading from the NNPC depots, you are going to pay abut N148 as the ex-depot price. But some of the PMS are also stored in private depots and those private depots don’t sell to the retailers for 148; they add some premium to it, at the end the of the day, they sell between 152, 155, 160 and 162.
“So, if they sell at that amount, it will now be difficult for the retailer to go and sell at the same amount.”
Meanwhile, President Muhamamdu Buhari has defended the Federal Government’s decision to keep paying fuel subsidies.
In a response to Bloomberg, the President said the effects of removing fuel subsidies would have been too harsh on the Nigerian people.
He said the government is working on boosting local capacity in order to stem the inflationary pressures that are likely to be triggered by a removal of subsidies.
“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now?” What is good for the goose is good for the gander!” The President said.
It was one of the unusual days in Lagos on Monday as many residents spent hours waiting on queues in filling stations at various locations in the state.
This was as a result of the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol which affected businesses which depend on the product for power due to the erratic supply of electricity in the country.
Similarly, the number of commercial vehicles plying the roads was less compared to a regular business day, leaving many passengers stranded at various bus stops.
While some were forced to pay extra fares for transportation, others opted to trek to their respective destinations, including offices, markets, and homes.
Amid fears that the scarcity might be a result of industrial action by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), the union said it took a decision to go on strike.
In an interview with Channels Television, the Lagos Zonal Chairman of IPMAN, Akin Akinrinade, explained the rationale behind the fuel scarcity.
According to him, the situation across the state is as a result of the operating environment which has become hostile to their businesses.
Akinrinade specifically stated that the petroleum marketers were not on strike as feared but have found it difficult to operate considering the dependence on diesel whose price has skyrocketed.
“Members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN have shut down their stations, not because we are striking; we are not on strike,” he said.
“Rather, the business environment has been very hostile to us such that we can no longer do business under this condition. For you to load a litre of petrol, you pay in N162 per litre.”
The IPMAN official was quick to say the situation had nothing to do with the removal of subsidy or deregulation of the petroleum sector.
He listed the high cost of buying petrol at the depots, the high cost of diesel for running their station, and the increased cost of freight as the major factors responsible.
Akinrinade stressed that it was no longer feasible to sell the product at the recommended price of N165 to a litre, adding that the landing cost of petrol was between N175 to N178 naira to the litre.
“You now have to add the cost of transportation which is between N6 to N8, depending on the distance within Lagos,” he explained. “If it is outside Lagos, it is much more than that.
“So, if you add N8 to N162, you already have N170 and the government which is the regulator wants us to sell at N165; we have not even added the charges at the depot and the running cost at our stations.”
“You know what diesel says now, and you know how epileptic power supply is; we run on generator, using diesel at N800 per litre. There is no station in Lagos that uses less than 50 litres (of diesel) per day.
“So, our members can no longer sell (petrol) at N165 per litre; in fact, there is no reasonable person in this business that can sell below N180 per litre, so it is not as if we are on strike,” he concluded.
He said the Federal Government has reneged on the agreement reached with the association.
“It is not a subsidy,” Mr Kamba said. “It is money that we marketers contributed. We have to pay a certain amount for every litre we purchase from the government. Just for the country to have a uniform pump price.
“We contributed this money just the way pensioners contribute their own. So there is no reason anyone can give us to say they have no money. We are asking for our contribution.
“Our arrangement is for the Ministry to pay us every week; when you transport this product, you are supposed to be paid within a week; but now we are counting months. We have counted up to 11 months. The payment has stopped since June 2021.”
Residents of Kaduna groaned on Wednesday as black marketers sell Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol for N1,000 per litre in parts of the state.
This comes amid the fuel scarcity that hit the country recently and has yet to abate. Channels Television observed that motorists continue to queue for hours at petrol stations to buy the product.
In the capital city of Kaduna, the residents lamented that despite the assurance by the Federal Government to address the scarcity, the situation has continued to linger, even as they said they buy fuel at the black market at an expensive rate.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said producers and providers of consumable products be held accountable for substandard services and or products sold by them.
He made the comment on following the circulation of adulterated fuel in the country. Buhari also directed the relevant government agencies to take every step in line with the laws of the country to ensure the respect and protection of consumers against market abuses and social injustices.
Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the protection of consumer interests is a priority of the present administration and is ready to take all necessary measures to protect consumers from hazardous products, loss, or injuries from the consumption of substandard goods.
The president directed that in line with the law, service providers must make full disclosure of relevant information with respect to the consumption of their products and that dissatisfied consumers are entitled to a proper redress of their complaints.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of attempting to provide official cover for their leaders reportedly involved in the criminal importation of toxic fuel into the country.
PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, demanded an investigation into reports of how APC leaders allegedly connived with foreign interests to import very cheap heavily contaminated fuel-laden with methanol in their desperation to defraud Nigerians and corruptly raise billions of naira to fund the APC national convention and rigging of the 2023 general elections.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) had on Wednesday explained how ‘adulterated’ Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Belgium and listed the companies – MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando, and Duke Oil as the culprits.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, said an investigation revealed the presence of Methanol in the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) cargoes of the companies.
When asked if companies found culpable will be blacklisted, Sylva responded that the government is not in a rush to mete out any measures until the actual cause has been decoded.
Speaking concerning Nigerians whose cars were damaged after buying the fuel, the former governor said their situation will be put into consideration.
“We know that some people’s vehicles must have been damaged; that is also going to the taken into consideration in dealing with the situation,” Sylvia explained.
His comments come hours after the Federal said it has identified and subsequently dealt with what may have caused panic buying of petrol in some parts of Lagos and Abuja.
Responding to the resurgence of fuel queues in Lagos and Abuja, the CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed said methanol quantity above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in a supply chain, which has since been isolated.
He explained that, while the quality control agencies of the government have swung into the action, NNPC Limited and oil marketers have been directed to ensure a robust supply of petroleum products.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has not directed anyone in his administration to implement the removal of petroleum subsidy.
He stated this after meeting with the President in his office, disclosing that he met Buhari to convey the concerns of his constituents on various issues including the proposed removal of subsidy.
Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, the Senate President said that lawmakers are worried about the agitations and protests across the country on the matter, which prompted the discussion with the President.
“He didn’t tell anybody that we should go remove petroleum subsidy. And those of us who represent the people know how people are already stressed over and again . . . it is going to be too much for them,” Lawan said.
Lawan further questioned the claim that Nigerians consume a hundred million litres of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) daily.
The Senate President explained that while it is impossible to consume that much within the boundaries of the country alone, there is a need to critically investigate to discover the truth.
Speaking further, he blamed the smuggling of petroleum products on the failure of the government to contain the menace, a situation that has pushed the burden of payment on the ordinary citizen.
He said, “I know and I agree that the subsidy is very heavy. But I think we must never transfer the burden to the citizens. I believe that we need to look at the quoted figure of maybe 100 million liters that people claim we’re consuming.
“Is it real? I mean is it either under-recoveries of subsidy? Is it really 100 million liters per day? How on earth are we consuming that? We need to look at this critically and see how we can find the truth.
“I am not convinced that within the boundaries of Nigeria we are consuming 100 million liters, probably neighbouring countries may be benefiting from this. Can’t we do something about it? It is a failure on us if we are not able to control it.”
Muhammad revealed that NNPC’s stock rose from a reserve of 1.7 billion litres of petrol to over two billion litres within the last one month.
Rather than getting apprehensive over the availability of the product, he asked Nigerians to enjoy the spirit of the festive season.
The NNPC spokesman stated that the company would continue to work tirelessly to ensure sufficient supply of petrol to every part of the country.
Read the full statement below:
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd wishes to express its appreciation to Nigerians for always heeding its advisories not to engage in panic buying of petrol.
The NNPC is once again giving Nigerians strong assurance that we have product sufficiency that will last far beyond the festive period.
Indeed, our stock has risen from a reserve of 1.7 billion litres to over two billion litres within the last one month.
Thus, we once again urge Nigerians not to engage in panic buying but to fully enjoy the spirit of the festive season as we continue to work tirelessly to ensure sufficient supply of petrol to every part of the country.
Once again the NNPC extends sincere appreciations to all Nigerians for your understanding and support.
Nigeria will stop the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, when the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) comes into full effect, and when the Dangote Refinery kicks off operations.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja.
He made the disclosure when he appeared before members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance during a hearing on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).
Representatives of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) present at the hearing informed the lawmakers that the NNPC has been declaring losses since 2018, but a substantial surplus in 2019.
While responding to questions on the Dangote Refinery, the NNPC chief justified the Federal government’s equity share in the plant.
He explained that taking equity in Dangote Refinery was well thought out, saying the country now has a venture that would ensure the production of millions of litres of petrol in the country.
“Our decision to take equity in the Dangote Refinery was a very calculated and conscious decision,” Kyari said. “Today, we import 100 per cent of our petroleum products into this country.
“You now have a venture that will produce close to 50 million litres of petroleum product in this country where energy is an issue in every country, including the United States of America; no country will allow any venture of this nature to exist without having a seat on the board of the company.”
He, however, informed the lawmakers that the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, was not keen on the part of the agreement which stated that Dangote Refinery must buy Nigeria’s crude oil.
The NNPC chief disclosed that the corporation borrowed funds from the Afreximbank to pay for the stake in Dangote Refinery.
Allaying fears that this would affect the nation’s assets, he stated that the government has not abandoned the country’s refineries and was in the process of rehabilitating them.
Kyari also briefed the lawmakers on the issue of smuggling, as well as the committee set up and the recommendations that the NNPC should set up petrol stations in neighbouring countries to address the problem.
He believes this is not the solution, as no smuggler will buy at above Nigeria’s official price.
The NNPC chief said the corporation was engaging with the government of the Niger Republic on the establishment of fuel stations, but he was mindful that this may be a bad business and ultimately not a solution to the problem of smuggling petroleum products.
Responding to a question about trucks smuggling fuel out of the country daily, he insisted that everyone on the value chain had been compromised.
There will be no increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, in the month of June, the Federal Government has assured Nigerians.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, gave the assurance in a statement on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
He noted that while the decision of the government was in contradiction to the present situation in the petroleum markets, it remained committed to its engagement with the organised labour.
“Once again, it has become necessary to assure Nigerians that despite the huge burden of under-recovery, the Federal Government is not in a hurry to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) to reflect the current market realities.
“The current price of petrol will be retained in the month of June until the ongoing engagement with organised labour is concluded,” the minister stated.
He explained that the clarification became necessary in the light of recent reports regarding the resolution of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to increase the pump price of petrol.
Sylva warned petroleum product marketers in the country against engaging in any activities that could jeopardise the seamless supply and distribution system presently in place.
He also appealed to the people in various parts of the country to remain calm and avoid panic buying of the product.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has enough stock of petroleum products to keep the nation wet,” the minister said.
Another Worry For Nigerians
Despite the assurance that the government would retain the price of petrol, Nigerians are concerned about the proposed increase of the electricity tariff for June.
This led to the resolution by the House of Representatives calling on the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to rescind its decision on the proposed increment in view of the hard times Nigerians were going through.
A member of the House, Aniekan Umanah, had raised a motion during Thursday’s plenary that the nation’s electricity regulator should suspend the proposed increase in electricity tariff.
He faulted the decision to increase the electricity tariff at a time when Nigerians were going through hard times and governments all over the world were providing means to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umanah decried that NERC, working with the distribution companies, had increased the tariff five times since 2015, the latest being on January 1, 2021.
Following a series of deliberations on the motion, the lawmakers mandated the House Committees on Power, Poverty Alleviation, as well as Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure compliance with the resolution.
The Zamfara State Government on Saturday said it was criminalising the sale of petroleum products in jerrycans or any other containers in some parts of the state.
The move, the government believes, will help to curb the activities of black marketers linked to bandits in the state.
“In furtherance of the efforts and steps being taken by the government of Zamfara state in tackling the recent upsurge in the activities of recalcitrant bandits in the state, the government found it necessary to ban the activities of petroleum products black marketters in the general area of Wanke, Magami, Dansadau, Dangulbi, Dankurmi, Bindin, Munhaye, Kizarah, kunchin Kalgo and their surroundings with immediate effect, until further notice,” a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, said.