Petrol consumers in northern states such as Niger, Benue, Kano and Plateau are facing a hard time as the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, has increased significantly.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) confirmed the price hike to The PUNCH on Sunday and attributed it to the high cost of diesel used by trucks that transported petrol from the South to the North.
According to IPMAN, the ex-depot price of petrol at private tank farms had risen to between N610/litre and N615/litre, forcing independent marketers to raise their price at filling stations to between N630/litre and N680/litre, depending on the location of purchase.
Ex-depot price is the price marketers buy products at the depot and it determines the price at which they will sell to motorists.
About two weeks ago, the cost of petrol at filling stations operated by independent marketers in the North ranged from N617/litre and N625/litre, but it has now increased to between N640/litre and N680/litre. Independent marketers operate about 70 per cent of filling stations nationwide, hence they supply petrol to most Nigerians across the country.
The spokesman for IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, explained the reasons for the price hike in the North.
He said: “You know that because we are importing PMS, the products come in through the coastal areas. So trucks travel several kilometres to come and get products from these coastal areas and distribute them to the far North and other distant regions.
“We have problems associated with logistics. The forex rate and diesel price are also key issues. The price of diesel is about N1,200/litre. We use diesel to move the trucks that convey products to filling stations.
“We also have bad roads, as most of these trucks spend close to one week on roads while trying to move products to retail outlets. All these things are expenses and at the end of the day it will definitely add to the pump price.”
The Secretary of IPMAN, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, also said that the cost of running the business was becoming too high and stressed that the government should intensify efforts in getting refineries to work.
He said: “The price of petrol will continue to fluctuate as far as we use forex to import it. We all know that there have been fluctuations in the forex rate. So the main solution is domestic refining of crude and until we get our refineries working, we will continue to experience these challenges.”
The high cost of transportation is affecting the price of petrol in the North. In Niger State, nearly all the fuel stations have increased their pump price compared to the last two weeks when the prices ranged from N617 to N640.
All the fuel stations in Minna have settled for a uniform price of N650, although there are stations that sell for N645 to N649. An attendant at the Shafa Fuel station said that getting the product was becoming more problematic and they had no option but to increase the pump price by N10.00.
In Benue State, the price of petrol was between N655 and N660 per litre in Makurdi, the state capital. The product was sold between N630 and N635 per litre about two weeks ago. At Bolek and Prime Power filing stations within the Makurdi metropolis, the product was on Thursday sold at N655 and N660 per liter.
In Plateau State, some motorists in Jos, the state capital, are groaning over the arbitrary increase in the pump price of petrol.
Checks by our correspondent on Sunday showed that most of the filling stations were selling beyond the official post-subsidy removal prices.
The price has increased to N670 per litre, unlike last week when some marketers sold the product between N640 and N650 per litre. A motorist, John Bulus, who lamented the situation, described the attitude of petroleum marketers as wicked and insensitive.