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PREMIUM MOTOR SPIRIT: IPMAN backs IMF, W’Bank, says N165 per litre not realistic

…as faction pleads with members to accept FG’s price …appoints consultants to recover debts

‘Private depots fuel, loading, other expenses cost between N175 and N176 per litre’

The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday tacitly threw its weight behind calls by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and other leading economists to remove subsidy from petroleum products, when it argued that the directive by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) that the pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) should remain at N165 per litre is unrealistic and not feasible. Government has only been able to keep the price at this level courtesy of massive subsidies on the commodity to the chagrin the IMF and World Bank which have argued that doing such was wrong as it meant government did not have funds to plough into the productive sectors of the economy.

Only on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari again defended his government’s position saying the effects of removing fuel subsidies would have been too harsh on the Nigerian people. Speaking with Bloomberg, the President said his 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. But speaking with New Telegraph, the IPMAN Chairman of NNPC depot Ore, Western Zone of Nigeria, Engineer Shina Amao said that independent marketers buy petrol from private depots at N161 and N163 per litre, noting that with loading and other associated costs, a litre of PMS costs them nothing less than N175 or N176.

He said that there was no way they could sell at the official rate of N165 per litre when they incur a cost of about N176 per litre. Amao said: “If we continue to buy from private depots at N161, N163 and we still take it to our destinations, and it will be N175, N176 we will continue to sell at N180 per litre. Government knows what to do.

What they need to do is that since we have been crying since December 2021 that they should stop the private depot owners from increasing the prices, more than the official price; they did not do anything and they did not listen to us, DSS did not go there, Civil Defence did not go there, DPM did go there, but they have been coming to us that we should sell at pump price. Whereas. they could not go where we have been buying above pump price, so if they are selling above pump price to us, we will continue selling above pump price in all destinations in Nigeria.” He noted that IPMAN members could only sell petrol at government regulated price of N165 per litre if the government addresses their concerns.

The Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Mr. Ogbugo Kalu, had at a media briefing on Tuesday said NMDPRA was ever ready to enforce N165 per litre on independent marketers. He said: “PMS is a regulated product.

The price is fixed and the ex-depot price is known. The pump price remains at N165. So we continue to urge Nigerians to keep within these operating rules.” Meanwhile the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in collaboration with the Joint Task Force on Jerrycan Peddlers raided and arrested some illegal petroleum products sellers in Abuja.

In another development, the fuel crisis continued to bite harder in Lagos as not only many private petrol stations were closed as a result of fuel scarcity but many petrol stations owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited experienced out of stock of the product as at Wednesday morning. Investigation by New Telegraph further revealed that there were less vehicular movements in Lagos as many motorists did not have petrol to power their vehicles. Very busy and crowded areas such as Ikorodu Road, Oshodi – Mile 2, Lekki, Ikeja, Iyana Ipaja had less vehicular movements.

 

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