By Obas Esiedesa
Four days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced reduction in ex-depot price of petrol, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has failed to set new pump price of petrol.
NNPC had on May 6 announced a new price regime of N108 per litre as ex-depot price for petrol (Premium Motor Spirit) from N113.28 per litre, the move was expected to trigger an immediate reduction in the price at petrol stations.
Ex- depot price is the price at which the depot owners sell the commodity to retail outlets across the country.
But PPPRA, the Federal Government agency charged with the responsibility for setting the price of the product has so far failed to do so. It is currently sold at N123.50/litre, a price announced on April 1.
PPPRA had in March, when government announced that it would no longer pay subsidy on petrol, said it would set the price of petrol monthly in line with government’s price modulation policy.
Effort made to reach the PPPRA spokesman, RA Apollos on Sunday was unsuccessful, as his known phone line was switched off. A text message to him was unanswered as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo says its members have started buying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol at N108 ex-depot price as announced by NNPC.
Okoronkwo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Sunday.
Okoronkwo said that the development was welcomed and seen as a partial deregulation of the downstream oil sector.
“We have started getting the product at the ex depot price of N108 as announced by the NNPC.
“It is a welcome development but it is not that exciting because it looks more like you will buy products high and sell cheaper.
“The new price is only good for those buying in high volumes,’’ he said
However, the National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Dr Billy Gillis-Harry said that their members were still buying the product at the old price of N113.
“First, N108 per litre had been announced by the PPMC as ex-depot price; we have the communication both from the PPMC and the PPPRA. But the reality is that there is no implementation of that as it is today.
“Our members have been loading from the refineries at the last price which is about N113 per litre.
“The idea was that they are going to do a credit note back to marketers. Right now, that has not been implemented. The normal thing is to do credit note back to marketers,’’ he said.