Petrol may sell for N88 per litre from today
• Govt raises Q2 import allocations to 3.5m metric tonnes
• Marketers to begin 24-hour service at filling stations
• Govt to get N400m daily
Amid the lingering fuel crisis in the country, there were indications yesterday from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) that the product may be sold for N88 per litre at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stations and N88.50 in other stations starting from today.
Until this new template, the NNPC’s official price for a litre of fuel was N86 while for others it was N86.50. The new price mechanism that is expected to take effect today is a requirement of price modulation system that is reviewed every quarter.
The Guardian learnt that the proposal for the price template for the second quarter of the year (April to June) was tabled before the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu by the PPPRA boss, Mrs. Sotonye Iyoyo early this week.
It could not be ascertained yesterday whether the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is attending a conference in Washington DC in the United States, approved the template before leaving the country.
According to an investigation by The Guardian, every aspect of the template was retained except the equalisation fund, which has additional N2 per litre from the previous N4, making it N6.
The breakdown indicates that government is expected to get N400 million daily as the country still operates on over-recovery basis, which means that Nigerians are paying extra N10 on every litre of petrol they buy at the filling stations.
With an estimated 40 million litres of petrol consumed per day, the Federal Government will mobilise about N36 billion into the dedicated account that is opened in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over-recovery funds in the second quarter of 2016.
The price template on the PPPRA website that was last updated on March18, 2016 indicates that the landing cost of petrol stood at N71.49 kobo while ex-depot (for collection) was put at N76.50 kobo. But this is expected to change within the first few hours of today.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has increased import allocation permits for petrol, from three million metric tonnes in the first quarter, to 3.5 million tonnes in the second quarter.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said it waded into the supply chain with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), as part of moves to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
The NNPC restated its commitment to boosting the nation’s refining capacity, which in turn would put an end to the perennial fuel scarcity in the country.
PPPRA spokesman Lanre Oladele disclosed that the allocation was issued to NNPC and other private fuel marketers.
Among the 47 companies to benefit from the allocation are; Oando, Sahara Energy, Forte, Conoil, MRS Oil and Gas, Shorelinks, Hyde Energy, Heyden and the local downstream subsidiaries of ExxonMobil and Total.
In the first quarter the regulator handed 78 per cent of the allocation to NNPC and 22 per cent to private companies and fuel marketers.
According to the spokesman, the allocation ratio has been reversed in the Q2 programme, with NNPC handling 41.7 per cent and private marketers 58.3 per cent.
In a related development, Kachikwu raised a 14-man committee charged with the task of doing everything possible “to bring back peace to the IPMAN at the national, zonal and depot levels.”
In a meeting with members of IPMAN, yesterday, the minister charged them to work with relevant government agencies such as the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other stakeholders to ensure that the prevailing fuel scarcity “becomes a thing of the past as quickly as possible.”
Speaking shortly after the deliberations, the National Secretary of IPMAN, Danladi Pasali, expressed the readiness of the association to assist the Federal Government in bringing a lasting solution to the fuel situation in the country within the next two weeks as stated by Kachikwu during a recent meeting with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream.
The minister had assured the Senate Committee that the lingering fuel crisis would be over within the next two weeks.
Aligning IPMAN with this objective, Pasali stated: “In the spirit of reconciliation and patriotism, we have resolved to forget our differences and work together towards providing products to our various stations across the country in order to ease the hardship on Nigerians.”
As the fuel scarcity lingers, commuters across the country are still going through a hard time in search of fuel, as most filling stations in the metropolis have no product to dispense. Apart from the Conoil station opposite the NNPC Towers, NNPC mega station on the Olu Obasanjo Way, Wuse Zone 1 Abuja and a few other stations, no filling station was selling as at yesterday evening.
While blaming a lack of long-term planning for the inability of Nigeria to build new refineries after years of experiencing fuel shortage, former President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Peter Esele explained that the penchant of successive governments for basing planning on ad hoc arrangement had not done the country any good.
His explained: “Have we sat down to find out what would be our energy need in the next 10 or 20 years to come? Does Nigeria have a roadmap on how to achieve self-reliance in petrol need in another 20 years? What is our future plan on how to move the petroleum industry forward, apart from the omnibus Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that has not been passed in the last eight years? There is no national goal on nearly everything Nigeria is doing.”
Therefore, Esele called on President Buhari to develop a policy on the development direction of the country in critical sectors of the economy.
He submitted that no businessman or International Oil Company (IOC) would build refineries in the country as long as government failed to remove incentives offered by an importation regime.
“Why would anybody be interested in building refineries when he knows he will make more money through importation of petrol? It is time for government to adopt a stick-an- carrot approach in dealing with marketers,” Esele stated.