The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said that it cannot sell Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, at a loss, regardless of the demands of oil marketers, as it buys the commodity at N116.28 per litre.
NNPC this known to the marketers while responding to claims by oil marketers that the price of PMS being sold to them by the corporation was high and that this had led to the shutdown of many oil marketing firms nationwide.
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria had told our correspondent that the increase in the price of PMS sold to them by NNPC from N111 per litre to N117 per litre had made many marketers to close shop because they were not making a profit, as exclusively reported in Sunday PUNCH.
a lot of jobs had been lost due to the shutdown of businesses by oil dealers, marketers also stated adding that this might trigger a prevalent petrol crisis in the sector if not handled satisfactorily.
“The increase from N111 per litre to N117 was done by the NNPC over a year ago and marketers have been finding it tough to handle it , which is why most marketers are no longer in the oil business.
Olufemi Adewole, the Executive Secretary, DAPPMAN, stated, I have written letters several times that it should be reversed and that is why a lot of marketers are no longer importing,” marketers would vacate the petroleum product business should the government fail to deregulate the sector,
the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, told news correspondent on Sunday in Abuja that the government had made it clear that there was no plan to raise petrol price.
He further explained In response to the claims by marketers, that the oil marketers should channel their case to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, adding that the NNPC could not sell petrol at a loss, as it bought the commodity at N116.28 per litre through its Direct Sale Direct Purchase scheme.
DAPPMAN had argued that the government through NNPC refused to regulate the pump price of PMS despite increasing the prices which depot owners paid for the product.
Adewole said, “When we were buying it from them at N111 per litre, the pump price of PMS was N145 for a litre and when they increased it to N117, they still maintained that the pump price should be N145. Now, who bears that difference between N111 and N117?
“I ant you to know that the number of marketers operating in the downstream sector has been decreasing annually since 2016. I’m not talking about people who just have offices, rather I mean petroleum product marketers who bring in or buy products and sell. This is why the sector should be deregulated.”
The DAPPMAN executive said, “If I say 100 marketers were operating last year and now it is only 10 that are operating, for the remaining 90 where have they gone to?”