Nigerian oil marketers have reacted to claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has significantly reduced the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, across the country.
The apex oil firm had announced on Sunday that its sustained strategic intervention in the efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products had led to a significant fall in the price of petrol, adding that the intervention had also warranted a significant drop in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, also known as cooking gas, nationwide.
According to the corporation, a national survey by its oil and gas forum indicated that in the last few weeks, the price of petrol had fallen steadily from N145 per litre to between N143 and N142 per litre in some stations across the country.
However, the oil marketers, under the aegis of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), argued that the corporation might have reduced petrol price at its stations because of its relative ease of assessing foreign exchange.
Speaking with pressmen on Sunday, the Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole, said members of group were still selling petrol at N145 per litre, adding that he was not aware that the price of the product had crashed.
He said, “I’m not aware the price of petrol has crashed. My people are still selling at N145 per litre. So if the NNPC has crashed its price, it doesn’t have the overhead that we have; it is not repaying loans to banks like we are paying and government is not owing the NNPC like it owns us.
“So, we are operating in the same market but different conditions. Maybe they (NNPC) crashed the PMS price in their own petrol stations. Government owes marketers foreign exchange and interest on loan repayment for the past two years. Is it these marketers that will now sell at a price that they cannot get the product?
“My own people in DAPPMA are selling at N145 per litre and that is the official market price. If the NNPC is selling at a lower price, you should know that the NNPC is not being owed by government; it is not going to banks to borrow money that it has to pay interest on when repaying. Also, the NNPC is not buying foreign exchange to import products.”