Fuel Price: Confusion As N179/litre Controversy Worsens
A document displaying the costs of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, in various regions of Nigeria is causing confusion among PMS consumers as the Federal Government remained mute about the matter on Tuesday.
Although some operators in the downstream oil sector alleged that the fuel prices were approved by government, many others debunked the allegation on the grounds that the document had yet to be confirmed officially.
Oil marketers, however, told our correspondent that the Federal Government might be using the document to test the reaction of the public as touching an official hike in petrol price.
The document, entitled, “PMS Pump Price Adjustment,” described the government-approved N165/litre price of petrol as “old price,” as it went further to outline the new rates for the commodity in different regions of Nigeria.
For the South-West, North-West, North-East and South-South, it outlined the new PMS pump prices per litre in these regions to be N179, N184, N189 and N179 respectively.
The new prices of the commodity per litre in the North-Central, South-East, Abuja and Lagos were put at N179, N184, N174 and N169 respectively.
On the section captured as “PMS Ex-depot Price Adjustment”, the document stated that while the old ex-depot price was N148.17/litre, the new rates in Lagos, Warri/Ogharra and Port Harcourt were now N160-N162/litre, N162-N165/litre and N165-N167/litre respectively.
Commenting on the development, the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, told our correspondent that though there was no official confirmation yet, the government might be trying to see the reaction of the public through the document.
Ukadike added, “So that is the issue and it is also because of the cost of diesel and the unavailability of petroleum products. If there is availability or the refineries are working, all these issues will be taken care of.
“Therefore it is not just that the document on different prices came from NMDPRA, it did not come from them, but it is the reality in disguise, maybe the government is using it to test grounds, to know how the public will react.”
The NMDPRA, which is the regulator that fixes petroleum products’ prices, has remained mute for weeks now as regards the hike in the cost of petrol. It has also failed to sanction filling stations selling above government-approved N165/litre price.