Niger, Benue, Kano marketers hike fuel, blame transport cost

Oil marketers have increased the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol in northern states including Niger, Benue, Kano and Plateau.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed the price hike to The PUNCH on Sunday and attributed it to the high cost of diesel used by trucks that transported petrol from the South to the North.

It was gathered on Sunday that the ex-depot price of petrol at private tank farms had increased to between N610/litre and N615/litre, forcing independent marketers to raise their price at filling stations to between N630/litre and N680/litre, depending on the location of purchase.

Ex-depot price is the price marketers buy products at the depot and it determines the price at which they will sell to motorists.

About two weeks ago, the cost of petrol at filling stations operated by independent marketers in the North ranged from N617/litre and N625/litre, but it has now increased to between N640/litre and N680/litre.

Independent marketers operate about 70 per cent of filling stations nationwide, hence they supply petrol to most Nigerians across the country.

Explaining the price hike particularly in the North, the spokesman for IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said, “You know that because we are importing PMS, the products come in through the coastal areas. So trucks travel several kilometres to come and get products from these coastal areas and distribute them to the far North and other distant regions.

“We have problems associated with logistics. The forex rate and diesel price are also key issues. The price of diesel is about N1,200/litre. We use diesel to move the trucks that convey products to filling stations.

“We also have bad roads, as most of these trucks spend close to one week on roads while trying to move products to retail outlets. All these things are expenses and at the end of the day it will definitely add to the pump price.”

On his part, the Secretary of IPMAN, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said the cost of running the business was becoming too high, stressing that the government should intensify efforts in getting refineries to work.

“The price of petrol will continue to fluctuate as far as we use forex to import it. We all know that there have been fluctuations in the forex rate. So the main solution is domestic refining of crude and until we get our refineries working, we will continue to experience these challenges,” he stated.

The high cost of transportation is affecting the price of petrol in the North. In Niger State, nearly all the fuel stations have increased their pump price compared to the last two weeks when the prices ranged from N617 to N640.

All the fuel stations in Minna have settled for a uniform price of N650, although there are stations that sell for N645 to N649.

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An attendant at the Shafa Fuel station explained that getting the product was becoming more problematic and explained that they had no option but to increase the pump price By N10.00.

Our correspondent who went round Makurdi, the Benue State capital, observed that the price of petrol was between N655 and N660 per litre.

The product was sold between N630 and N635 per litre about two weeks ago.

At Bolek and Prime Power filing stations within the Makurdi metropolis, the product was on Thursday sold at N655 and N660 per liter.

Some motorists in Jos, the Plateau state capital are groaning over the arbitrary increase in the pump price of petrol in the state

Checks by our correspondent on Sunday showed that most of the filling stations were selling beyond the official post-subsidy removal prices

The price has increased to N670 per litre, unlike last week when some marketers sold the product between N640 and N650 per litre.

A motorist, John Bulus who lamented the situation, described the attitude of petroleum marketers as exploitative saying “ In Jos , PMS has no stable price again. All the marketers are just selling at any price they like. You can sell at N640 today and the next day , you will discover that the price has been adjusted to N640. That is the situation now.So for now, we don’t know what they will sell tomorrow”

Findings conducted by our correspondent in Sokoto State indicated that only the NNPC filling stations in the state sold for between N615 and N620 while other major marketers sold for between N640 and N650.

Also, some other filling stations especially those owned by independent marketers in the state sell a litre of products between N680 and N690

Some of the residents, who spoke with our correspondent in the state, lamented over the cost of fuel which they said was having a major effect on the price of foodstuffs.

Fuel price especially at filling stations owned by IPMAN in Kano State is between N660 and N670 per litre as against the former price of N640 and N650.

Following the exorbitant fuel prices, many car owners have parked their vehicles as they could not fuel them.

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