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Subsidy removal: Fuel queues resurface in Lagos as NNPCL increases pump price

Agency Reporter

Fuel queues have resurfaced within Lagos metropolis, due to hike in the pump price of petrol by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Ltd., the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN correspondent, who moved round the Lagos metropolis, observed that most filling stations had adjusted their pump price.

The correspondent also noticed that fuel is sold between N580 and N600 at most filling stations, owned by both major and independent marketers.

The hike in price of petrol is sequel to the increase in ex-depot price of petrol from N446.57 per liter to N580 per liter.

However, the situation has triggered panic buying as motorists raced to filling stations to buy petrol.

There were queues at Mobil Filling Station on Ikorodu Road, TotalEnergies at Mobolaji, Amuf at Bariga and Conoil in Ikorodu while there were vehicles on a long stretch within and outside most of the facilities.

A visit to Northwest Station in Gbagada showed N570 per litre, Mobil at Anthony, N580, Amuf in Palmgrove, N558 and Conoil in Ikeja, N590.

Also some of the NNPCL retail outlets monitored were selling at N600 per litre.

Consequently, queues extended to the roads from the facilities, compounding traffic woe.

However, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, the Chief Executive Officer, 11 Plc, said: “I believe so, fundamentals are changing, exchange rate, so price will change.

“If they do not change, people will be reluctant to import.

Mr Mike Osatuyi, Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said petrol, kerosene and diesel had been deregulated, even NNPCL retails stand as private entity and not government owned company.

He said, “NNPCL is no more in charge of control of price. Now, it is what marketers buys they will sell with their margin. So, it’s not deliberate act of NNPCL to increase price anyhow or reduce price, but it is based on market forces.

“All marketers will do same. As we speak, crude has gone up and dollar is also up. Forex is at N803 per dollar on Import and Export windows that is CBN rate.

“So, the figure on new template will make the pricing to go up. If the crude reduces and dollar rate also reduces, it will also affect the price downward.

“Increase and reduction in price is determined by market forces.

“It is the market forces that determine the prices and it is an act of deregulation.

“It’s about market because everyone is into market to make profit” he added.

Similarly, a marketer who preferred anonymity, told NAN that the increase in pump price of petrol by NNPCL was a true reflection of market reality.

The marketer said: “When NNPCL did the pump price six weeks ago, what was the exchange rate? It was within N631 to N660, which was not a transperent rates.

“Today, the exchange rate is within N820 to N825 to pay for product, the price on cost recovery means that price will go up.

“Just like the diesel price that went up between N800 and N900, but later ropped to N600. Same thing is happening, now, to petrol pricing,” he said.

According to the marketer, pricing will go up and down, depending on cost of the input. Ever since they used the nominal rate, for N650, even at that time the black market exchange rate was N750 but they used N650.

“Now that the gap has been closed, everybody will now use N820 as at today.

“If you use that rates that NNPCL, one still has to pay for the product.

“It has to access the foreign exchange to pay for the product because there is no longer any subsidy.

“Originally, our calculation was to use N631 because at that point in time the window was claiming N650 and the black market was claiming N750

“Overtime, the CBN window and black market will be unified. Presently, the unified market price is now N820.

“That is the number to use to calculate.

The marketer said that most marketers that imported were asked to pay within 20 to 30 days of import, noting that costs were determined by the exchange rate they got during purchase.

According to the marketer, NNPCL no longer have free crude oil to swap, all crude oil is being sold.

He noted that money was paid into Federation Account to the benefit of all Nigerians.

“NNPCL has to use the current foreign exchange rates that everybody is using

“There must be a level playing ground to allow completion,” he advised.

(NAN)

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