Petrol stations across the country may start selling Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) between N170/litre and N190/litre, sources have claimed.
An agreement was reportedly reached between Oil Marketers and Federal Government to hike the fuel price to the said amount.
Naija News understands that long queue was witnessed in several parts of the country days ago, mostly in Abuja and Lagos due to the scarcity of the commodity with each station selling at unfriendly prices.
However, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and oil marketers reportedly met last Thursday and resolved that the pump price of petrol should be increased by N10 per litre.
A market survey on Sunday revealed that price display boards at some petrol stations in Lagos reflected new prices starting between N170 per litre and N175 per litre. However, some other filling stations sold above these prices, with some selling as high as N185/litre.
The PUNCH, however, gathered that Oil marketers debunked holding any such meeting with the NMDPRA.
Sources in the know, however, confirmed to the news platform that the meeting was actually held.
The officials who spoke in anonymity said the NMDPRA agreed marketers could increase their pump price to N165-N175/litre for filling stations inside towns, and a maximum of N190/litre for those on the outskirts.
“The meeting was held and everybody was told to keep mum. A band of N165-N175/litre was approved for the filling stations inside towns, while N189 was approved for those outside towns,” The PUNCH quoted the source as saying.
Naija News understands that NMDPRA could still not verify the claim as of the time it was reported yesterday.
The spokesman for the NMDPRA, Kimchi Apollo who was reached on the telephone also could not respond to several calls made him.
However, marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed the fuel pump price hike to The PUNCH.
On his part, the National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi explained the reasons behind the fuel pump price hike.
Osatuyi, who also denied that a meeting held between oil marketers and the Federal Government on Thursday, however, disclosed that there was a fresh increase, describing it as a “market fundamentally determined price.
“Petrol now sells between N175-N180 per litre depending on the area,‘’ he said.
The expert added: “Petrol is now available and as you can see, the queues in Lagos and Abuja have disappeared. We are businessmen and it’s impossible for us to run at a loss. Marketers are allowed to sell at a minimum price of N170 and a maximum of N180. There’s something we call market fundamentals; this is what came into play here. This is because it is impossible to bring the product into your station at N170 and sell at N165.”
When asked if there was a circular from the NMDPRA to the effect, he responded “no”, adding, “there was no meeting but what you saw was simply an increase due to market forces.”
Explaining further, he said the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company’s price template, which has the current official price of N165/litre, was arrived at about 12 ago.
“The template is 12 years old when the dollar was still N175 and diesel was sold at N200/litre. Now, diesel is around N850. Even major oil marketers have changed their price boards to reflect the new band. It’s no more hidden. It is better for fuel to be available at N180 or N185 than buying at N250 from black marketeers. Now, no more boys going around with jerry cans, you can drive in and buy with ease”, he said.