Oil dealers said Thursday that they have increased their call for the federal government to raise the price of pump, popularly known as petrol, because the current cost of goods is no longer sustainable.
Also, PMS shippers confirmed that they have resumed full operation following last week’s hike in freight rates paid by the federal government for nationwide petrol shipping.
Between the call for petrol price rises and the full resumption of shipping operations, motorists’ queues for PMS in Abuja and neighboring states were long on Thursday.
Deputy National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Jarma Mustafa, told our correspondents that the federal government has been informed of the marketers’ motives for raising petrol prices.
“The current pump price is no longer sustainable and we have informed the government. However, we must acknowledge the efforts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in ensuring product availability,” he said.
Also, the National President of the Association of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers, Bennett Kori, said Nigerians need to adapt to the current reality, as it is no longer feasible to distribute petrol at filling stations at an approved rate of N165 / liter. Product at some private depots for about N170 / liter.
“So everybody is suffering and the only way for Nigerians to take or accept a slight increase in petrol prices. This will ensure that foreign exchange for diesel imports will reduce foreign exchange spent on petrol subsidy.
“Otherwise our construction companies, industries, hotels etc will not be able to buy diesel because everything is frozen. You use diesel to fuel the filling stations, you use it to run various business generators in Nigeria because there is no light across the country. So this is the only way ”
Asked whether marketers have informed the government about these concerns, Cory replied, “Of course, we have reached out to them about this. And the response is still the same problem we face – petrol.
“You can’t buy petrol at a higher price and sell less. Crude oil is about $ 130 / barrel, the price of fuel, if you ask for it, you will run away; But you are selling at N165 / liter. So you certainly don’t expect the money to run other activities while the government spends more on subsidies.
Attempts to secure the official position of the federal government did not produce the desired result, as the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the regulator, remained silent.
NMDPRA’s spokesman, Kimchi Apollo, did not answer several calls to his mobile phone and remained silent when he sent messages on the matter.
This comes as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners has confirmed that its members have resumed operations on petrol transit after the government increased the freight rate.
The National President, NARTO, Yusuf Othman, told our correspondents that the association is optimistic that the petrol queue lines caused by some members, especially in Abuja, have been shut down early.
Last week, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired), increased the freight rates paid by motorists in the parts of the country to the shippers of petroleum products in an attempt to clear the continuous fuel lines.
Oil dealers have repeatedly complained that fuel queues in Abuja and neighboring Nasarawa and Niger, among others, have caused petroleum product shippers to be unable to buy the diesel needed to run their trucks.
Due to the increase in diesel pump prices, N850 / liter is currently being distributed, he said.
To address this concern, NMDPRA announced last week that Buhari had considered the issue and approved an upward review of the freight rate.
Commenting on the growth, Othman said, “This is good for the sector because over the past few months, we have been operating at a higher or lower cost due to the high cost of diesel.
“But with the increase in freight rates, most of the transporters who have been parking their trucks with no profit in the trade have now come out and continue their business.
“At the same time, there will be some new investments. Those in the system and willing to put in more money are now putting more trucks into the business. So it will gradually reduce all the lines you see.
Asked specifically if the shipper who stopped their trucks had resumed operations, Othman replied, “Yes, of course, with that growth, those shippers are now back in the stream.”
“This is because there is now a guaranteed increase in freight rates.”