Despite federal government’s recent increase of the price of petrol to reflect the high cost of foreign exchange used in the importation of the product, some marketers and depot owners have defied government’s directive by selling above the official ex-depot price, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.
The high ex-depot price, it was learnt, has equally led to the sale of the product above the official N145 per litre in some filling stations across the country.
Shortly after the recent adjustment of pump price to N145 per litre, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had in an official letter with reference number A.4/9/017/C.2/IV/690, dated May 11, 2019, given a range of N123.28 – N133.28 per litre as the indicative ex-depot price for collection to all the marketers and depot owners.
The acting Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Mrs. SE Iyoyo, who signed the letter, also directed the marketers to sell at an indicative retail price band of N135 – N145 per litre at the pumps.
“All marketers are advised to operate within the indicative price band as advised by the PPPRA to avoid being sanctioned,” Iyoyo warned.
But THISDAY’s market survey revealed that some marketers and depot owners were selling above the N123.128 – N133.128 ex-depot price band at the weekend, thus pushing the pump price above the N145 per litre in some filling stations.
The survey showed that on Thursday, ASCON Petroleum was selling at ex-depot price of N134; BOVAS – N134; Heyden Petroleum – N135/N136; MRS – N134 and Eterna Oil – N134.
Depots that sold product within the range of the price band include: Fatgbems – N130/N132; Rahamaniyya – N133; Folawiyo –N133 and Integrated Oil – N132/N133.
On Friday, some of the marketers also flouted the pricing regulations, with ASCON selling at N134 per litre; Hensmor- N134; MRS – N134; and Heyden N134.50/N135.
However, other marketers operated within the ex-depot price band and these included: BOVAS –N133; Eterna Oil –N133; Fatgbems –N132; Folawiyo – N132.50; Integrated Oil –N132; Index Petroleum – N132; Sahara Energy – N133 and Rahamaniyya –N133.
The PPPRA had also warned that marketers that it would continue to monitor the market fundamentals in line with the policy of appropriate pricing, with a view to advising the marketers on subsequent guiding price band for petroleum products at the beginning of every month.
The federal government had earlier increased the pump price to N145 to allow marketers source for foreign exchange at N285 per dollar, against the official N197 for which the previous pump price of N86 was based.
The major marketers, who received forex assistance from the international oil companies (IOCs), have revealed that they source dollars at N320, which translates to a pump price of N165 per litre, against the government’s projected N145.
The independent marketers and other importers on the other hand, have however argued that their exchange rate at the parallel market is as high as N360 per dollar, thus making the N145 official pump price potentially unsustainable.