Barely a week after the Federal Government had slashed the price of petrol from N170 to N162.44 per litre, oil marketers continue to sell the product at N170, according to Vanguard investigation.
The investigation showed that the oil marketers, especially members of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, still sell the product at N170 per litre in many parts of Nigeria.
The marketers argued that they were not officially aware of any reduction, stressing that they were never carried along on the matter.
In an interview with Vanguard, weekend, Chairman of MOMAN, who also doubles as Managing Director, 11 Plc, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, said the ‘planned reduction’ was not in the best interest of the downstream sector.
According to him, “We are completely in the dark as to how the price was arrived at, what the components are and other details that operators in the sector are expected to know and make meaningful business decisions.
“This uncertainty and policy somersaults will not augur well for the sector. We acknowledge that times are hard but we need to think of the long-term sustainability of the sector, which still demands much investment to grow and create new jobs.”
He added: “My cost will not allow the reduction. We would not reduce the price. It can only work if marketers have finished their old stocks otherwise it will not be reduced.”
However, another operator, who pleaded anonymity, said: “This is because if you load before the price changes, you would be debited at the current rate at the loss of N5 per litre. The development will not bring about hoarding but some slight shortfall of product in circulation. The majority of the marketers will not buy petrol until next week.”
The price cut was agreed at a recent meeting between the organised labour, including the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Federal Government, where the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) agreed to cut N5 from N167.44.
According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the price of petrol was expected to drop to N162.44 per litre.