Despite the promise by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru to reward marketers who sell petrol at the official price, the product is still being sold for N160 per litre at the depots, against the official ex-depot price of N123.28 -N133.28, THISDAYâ€™s investigation has revealed.
Presenting a commendation letter to the Managing Director of BOVAS and Company Limited, an Ibadan-based petroleum marketing company, for consistently selling petrol at the approved price of N145 per litre, Baru had recently urged marketers to stick to that price to make life easy for Nigerians.
Baru said NNPC was fully convinced that it was possible for oil marketers to sell petrol at the approved price and still make a decent profit.
But a market survey carried out by THISDAY at the weekend revealed that marketers were selling petrol at a price range of N158 and 160 per litre against the official price band of N123.28 â€“N133.28 recommended by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on May 11, 2016 when the official pump price was increased to N145 per litre.
The sale of petrol at high ex-depot price has made it difficult for most independent marketers who depend on the depot owners for supply to sell at N145 at the filling stations.
With the ex-depot price at between N158 and N160 per litre, some retail outlets are selling at N180 instead of the official pump price of N145.
Out of 38 depots surveyed by THISDAY, only nine had stock of petrol at the weekend and the product belongs to the NNPC.
The nine depots include: AA Rano, Heyden Petroleum, MRS Oil and Gas, Obat Petroleum, Rahamaniyya, Sahara Energy, T-Time Pet, Wosbab and NIPCO Plc
However, all the major marketers â€“ Oando Plc, MRS, Mobil Oil, Total, Forte Oil, and Conoil had stock of petrol, which they sold at N145 to only their dealers, who were expected to sell at the same N145 at filling stations.
But despite the assurance by the corporation that it has sufficient petrol to serve the country, the inadequate supply of the product has continue to force the price of the product to be above the official levels.
Contrary to the usual practice of allocating products to depot owners to sell to trucks, the NNPC has engaged more private depots on throughput arrangement to have direct control of sale and distribution of its imported products.
THISDAY however gathered that marketers who get NNPCâ€™s allocation at official price sell to other marketers above the ex-depot price, thus forcing the marketers to sell above N145 per litre at the pumps.
The NNPC had recently recognise dBOVAS and its Managing Director, Mrs. Victoria A. Samson for selling petrol at the regulated price. â€œIt is on record that you have consistently demonstrated not only your ability to supply products to the market, but also to do so within the government controlled price of N145 per litre. You are even matching the NNPC Retail price by selling at N143 per litre. That is quite commendable,â€ Baru had said.
â€œBy doing what she does, Mrs. Samson has been making life much easier for Nigerians. That is why we gave her a commendation Letter as well as a plaque to recognise her efforts,â€ Baru had added.