Residents of Federal Capital Territory(FCT) woke up on Monday morning to see various filling stations selling petrol at N185/litre.
The development defiles instructions given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to ensure that petrol remains available at the subsidized price of N165/litre amid untamed queues.
Our correspondent who went round some filling stations reported to have seen Shaffa and A A Rano along Kubwa expressway and Jabi upwardly reviewed their metres.
While their managers declined NewsDirect comments, gathered that the marketers adjusted their meters to reflect a ‘new official price’ following rising operational cost.
The upward adjustment is also a sharp contrast to the recent promises made by top executives of the South-West bloc of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
The association, penultimate week, pledged support for the Federal Government by ensuring that Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) was available at the regulated price of N165 per litre, at retail stations.
The Zonal Chairman, IPMAN South-West, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen Lamidi, who gave the assurance at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, also highlighted some of the problems his members are facing: product sharing, rise in penalties, difficulty in getting tax clearance, high cost of doing business in the country, amongst others.
He, however, assured that despite the contending challenges, the union has resolved not to embark on any industrial action as a conflict resolution technique.
“As far as we are concerned in the South-West, we have gone beyond strike. Strike is not the solution to any problem because if there is a strike, it affects the masses and our businesses.
We will work together to ensure free flow of petroleum products and also make sure that products are sold at the government-regulated price, if we get them at the normal price’’, the Zonal Chairman said.
Meanwhile, petroleum marketers on the platform of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) rose from their 2nd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on last Thursday, with a plea to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make dollars available at official rate to oil marketers, to enable import diesel, end petrol scarcity and ultimately save the Nigerian economy from sinking. They said that dollar support should be available till Dangote Refinery comes on stream later in the year.
The association, among others, urged the National Assembly to immediately enact a Bill for the establishment of Energy Bank for easy transaction in petroleum products in the sector.
The National President of the Association, Mr Benneth Korie, who briefed the media after the NEC meeting in Abuja, noted that the bulk of the operational challenge peppering marketers and depot owners spring from expensive diesel which hovers around N850/litre.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a higher bridging cost payment to transporters, Korie said the operators’ challenges were far from over as oil marketers and depot owners spend about N20 million weekly on diesel to power their operations, a development he said erodes their profits.