Premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol was yesterday sold for as high as N150 per litre in parts of Lagos, Kano and Ogun states.
This, buoyed by panic buying, which resurfaced at filling stations, New Telegraph gathered, was as a result of about N5.32 per litre hike in the ex-depot price by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil exporter, in April, declared an end to fuel subsidy, noting that free market would, henceforth, determine the price of petrol.
PPMC, which is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), approved the new ex-depot price of N138.62 per litre of petrol for the month of August in a memo released to all depots and marketers sighted by New Telegraph yesterday morning.
Ex-depot price is the price that the product is sold at the depot for marketers. It largely determines the price of the product at filling stations.
Panic buying, as a result of this, was noticed spontaneously at filling stations across Lagos and in Ota area of Ogun State.
Stations in areas like Berger, Ekoro road in Abule Egba, Agege, Ogba and on the stretch of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway witnessed queues of vehicles while others shut their gates against motorists.
While majority of the stations owned by independent marketers shut their gates, queues were noticed at stations of major marketers in those areas.
A survey by New Telegraph showed that Olawale Filling Station, Iswat and Faith & Marvelous filling stations along Itele-Ota road sold petrol at N150 per litre for motorists who have besieged their stations in search of the product.
The same applied at Badek Filling Station and Fashola Filling Station in Ayobo area of Lagos where the product was sold at N150 per litre.
“We heard that they (government) wanted to increase the price of petrol, but when we got here, we saw that their meter displayed N143.80 per litre price, but to our surprise, they actually collected N150 per litre from us,” Moses Olopade, a commercial bus driver who just bought the product at Olawale Filling Station told this newspaper.
“I saw that people are queuing up and I drove in to fill my tank,” Sulaimon Akeju, who was in a queue at Badek said. “It was when I got here that I even heard that the price is now N150 per litre.
“Kindly, help us to ask; why is our government treating us like this? I think they said we as a nation are a producer of this oil. Why must we be subjected to this again and again?” he queried.
In Kano, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed its members to sell fuel at N150 per litre.
The directive was contained in a statement by IPMAN chairman, Kano chapter, Bashir Danmallam, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Kano yesterday.
He said the directive followed the new price modulation announced by the PPMC and has accordingly instructed its members to comply by selling the product at N150 per litre.
According to him, the directive was also in compliance with the government’s statement that it would review upward or downward the price of the commodity on monthly basis depending on the price at international market.
“Please be informed that the management has approved ex-depot price of petroleum products, including premium motor spirit (petrol) at N138.62 per litre,” the memo said.
He further said that private depots had also increased their price as they would sell the commodity to their members at N139.5 per litre.
He asked all members under his jurisdiction to comply with the new price regime by ensuring no one sells above the approved ceiling of N150 per litre.
Danmalam assured the public of availability of the petroleum products at all times.
The PPMC memo, dated August 4 and signed by Mohammed S. Bello, indicated that from Wednesday, August 5, PMS from ex-coastal transfer point would be N113.70, while from ex-depot it will cost N138.62 per litre.
The ex-depot price as at July price band released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulating Agency (PPPRA), another agency of government preoccupied with pricing regulation, was N133.30 per litre.
Checks by this newspaper showed that depot owners sell the product between N133.30 per litre and N133.50 per litre in July.
Though PPMC was silent on the pump price, N5.32 per litre increase in ex-depot price is expected to reflect on the pump price.
While PPPRA is yet to release August price advisory as it does monthly since April, PPMC sent a memo advising marketers on the coastal price and ex-depot price for the product.
It will be recalled that petrol is currently selling at N143.80 per litre at retail stations and an increase in ex-depot price will definitely affect the new price.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved a monthly review of prices of petroleum products in line with international market prices since April, following the impact of COVID-19.
PPPRA had recently announced total deregulation of petrol pump price with the removal of fuel subsidy.