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Depot owners under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), have voiced their displeasure over the new petrol price regime which they said is outrageous.

According to the depot owners, it will be unfair if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation goes ahead with its plan to increase the price at which the product is sold to them from N111 to N117. This is because the new rate is high-priced and not cost-effective.

Why the agitation? The executive secretary of DAPMAN, Femi Adewole, admitted the fears expressed by depot-owners over the new price regime. According to him, the fears stem from the fact depot owners make very little profit because of the current price system. He also frowned at the state’s monopoly on fuel importation, stating that it had worsened their plight.

“By the time depot-owners, who are mostly marketers,  add other costs incurred in the course of buying fuel from NNPC and later sell the product at the pump price of N145 per litre to  consumers,  they will be left with little or no profits.  More worrisome is the fact that NNPC controls fuel importation, a development which has compelled marketers to sell the product at a particular price. That is the situation we find ourselves.”

NNPC to blame? Adewole also lambasted the NNPC for selling fuel only to depot-owners with proforma invoices, thereby creating more trouble for those without one.

Unprofitable Business: Meanwhile, MOMAN’s secretary, Clemens Isong, said depot-owners could only buy PMS at the Department for Petroleum Resources‘ fixed price of N117. He further stated that no depot-owner/marketer could boast of making any profit under the new regime.

An Independent Petroleum marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) member who spoke under condition of anonymity, attributed the high landing cost of fuel to the NNPC’s action.

“The NNPC may have considered the cost of importing fuel into the country, ditto the cost of storing the product, cost of logistics, among other variables.  When one considers  these variables, which in most cases are not static, one would see that the tendency by  NNPC to increase the price at which fuel is being supplied to depot owners is high.”

The NNPC has maintained the policy of selling no more than 10 million litres to any depot-owner over the years, he said. “The reason is simple. NNPC believes that no private depot can contain more than 10 million litres of fuel at a stretch.”

Independent marketers get fuel from depot-owners and not the NNPC at N132.28, he confirmed.

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