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Leading technology driven research and development group, BudgIT, has come up with a report revealing that in the last 13 years, Nigeria had been importing no less than 91 per cent of its daily petrol needs upon being the sixth global exporter of crude oil.
In its latest report, titled: ‘Nigeria’s Petrol Subsidy Regime: Dilemma of the World’s Most Populous Black Nation,’ BudgIT averred that “Nigeria currently imports an average of 91 per cent of its daily petrol needs, thus disproportionately exposing local petrol prices to price shocks from international factors of production and exchange rate volatility”.
However, fresh trouble is about to engulf the economy as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure that private depot owners maintain the official ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) at N133.28 per litre.
Recall that the Corporation had on Monday, warned depots operators never to attempt jerking up the official depot price to avoid unilateral hike in pump price.
It would be recalled that whenever crude oil is steadily rising to over $60 per barrel, the economy is always in shocks as petrol landing costs are equally going up.
However, Ore Depot IPMAN chairman, Mr Shina Amoo, had given an indication of possible hike in pump price if depot owners continued to sell between N136.50 and N137 per litre.
He said, “Private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS beyond N133.28 per litre. We bought a litre of PMS between N136.50 and N137 per litre from private depot owners last weekend. This can affect the pump price at which independent marketers will sell the product, and it will certainly be beyond the N145, which is the official pump price.
Continuing, Amoo argued that “We, independent marketers, are law-abiding. We don’t want to sell above the official pump price and that is why we are urging the government to do something about it and make the product abundantly available. They should monitor private depot owners to make sure they don’t sell above the official ex-depot price of N133.28.
“The NNPC is the sole importer and nobody has the right to increase the price but if they continue to sell to us above the official ex-depot price, we will have no option than to increase the pump price above N145 per litre. The increase in price by private depot owners will eventually push the burden on the marketers and final consumers.”
assured that NNPC held stock of over one billion litres, adding that imports of 48 vessels of 50 million litres each had been committed for the month of April alone, there are fears over imminent fuel scarcity considering the rise in landing cost propelled by rising crude price.
Besides, chances of Nigerian owned refineries coming back on stream still remain slim as NNPC is still wallowing in darkness looking for un-existing investors who are willing to put their money in a regulated industry.
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