Claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that its strategic intervention had forced a reduction in the prices of petroleum products have been debunked by oil marketers.
NNPC had claimed that 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.
But oil marketers under the aegis of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) refuted the NNPC’s claims on the crash of the PMS price, arguing that the corporation might have reduced petrol price at its stations because of its relative ease of assessing foreign exchange.
Olufemi Adewole, executive secretary of DAPPMA, said members of group are still selling petrol at N145 per litre, adding that he was not aware that the price of the product had crashed.
“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 under different conditions. Maybe 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?” Adewole queried.
He affirmed that DAPPMA members are selling petrol at N145 per litre and will continue doing so. "That is the official market price", he said, adding that "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."