-PPPRA insists no plans to increase petrol price
Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Tuesday disclosed that its Mosimi Depot in Ogun State, has come back into operation a year after pipeline vandals forced it to go offline, and is now loading petroleum products for onward distribution to other parts of the country.
The corporation stated that the development would boost supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country, noting that commercial activities at the depot which hitherto moved to Lagos, would restart at Mosimi.
NNPC’s disclosure of Mosimi’s resumption came just at the same time the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) affirmed that the government’s approved band for pump price of petrol at service stations in the country has not changed from between N135 to N145 per litre.
According to a statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu in Abuja, the recommencement of loading operations at the depot was supervised by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
Baru, according to the statement said the development marked a major milestone in NNPC’s quest to ensure steady supply and distribution of petroleum products in Nigeria.
He was represented by NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih at the reopening, and said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era of hope and the return of commercial activities in this economic corridor as products are being received in Atlas cove and pumped to Mosimi for onward pumping to Satellite depot and loading from these two great depots in this area.”
Baru explained the event was historic and that the depot would come back on stream, bringing more fortunes to the people of the area where it is located.
He added that the stress of moving trucks to Lagos to take petroleum product to the area would be minimised as well.
NNPC explained that its System 2B Pipeline which is in Mosimi had been down for almost a year now on the back of pipeline vandalism along the Atlas Cove to Mosimi Pipeline Right of Way (PROW).
Baru in this regard said: “At some point, commercial activities that spun from our operations in this area had to be moved to Lagos. We can see that vandalism causes huge loss not only to NNPC, but to the host communities and the general public.”
He reportedly thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the constant support in ensuring the revamp of critical oil and gas infrastructure, especially petroleum products storage and distribution facilities to aid effective products distribution.
He also commended the government of Ogun State for its commitment to the security of NNPC’s pipeline network, especially around Arepo area, and explained that resumption of loading at Mosimi was in line with NNPC’s drive to ensure development of oil and gas infrastructure as contained in its 12 Business Focus Areas (12 BUFA).
Baru equally stated that the NNPC had recently rehabilitated and re-streamed some critical oil and gas infrastructure such as the System 2E (Port Harcourt to Aba) pipeline after over a decade of poor functionality.
“This effort will continue. Already, plans are underway to re-commission System 2D (Kaduna to Kano, Kaduna to Jos, Kaduna to Suleja) pipeline. Very soon Kano, Jos and Suleja will experience the impact of our collective resolve to get these critical infrastructures back on stream,” Baru stated.
Meanwhile, the PPPRA has explained how it was able to increase the bridging cost paid to truckers for distributing petrol across the country from N6.20k to N7.20k per litres, as well as the reasons why the increment would not affect pump prices of petrol at service stations.
According to the General Manager Operations of PPPRA, Mr. Supo Agbaje, who represented the Acting Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr. Victor Shidok at a press briefing, the N1 addition was gotten from a downward review of the Ship-to-Ship (STS) charges in the agency’s approved pricing template.
Agbaje, who was flanked by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Ahmed Bobboi, and Brenda Ataga, who is the Technical Adviser on Downstream and Infrastructure to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that a ministerial review committee comprising of relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector had met and decided on this before it was approved by Kachikwu for implementation.
While shying away from disclosing the current landing cost per litre of petrol in the PPPRA’s template, Agbaja, however stated that the price band for pump price of petrol has not changed from N135 to N145 per litre.
Though the PPPRA last published its pricing templates in May 2016, this development has denied the public the opportunity to transparently follow through on the components of the pricing model, Agbaje however added that the agency had periodically reviewed the template to reflect extant market fundamentals, and that nothing has changed as to warrant an upward adjustment in pump prices of products.
He said the adjustment in the bridging claims has subsequently calmed the tanker drivers of government’s commitment to keeping a stable products distribution regime.