The Oil dealers on Saturday said the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as gasoline, may be reduced this week at gas stations run by independent sellers due to the massive import of PMS by Nigeria’s National Petroleum Company Limited.
It was established that the recent increase in gasoline prices at retail outlets run by independent marketers resulted from shortages of this raw material, which led to speculation on the part of both base owners and gas stations.
However, on Saturday evening, downstream oil sector operators confirmed to our correspondent that several cargoes imported by NNPCL had arrived in Nigeria as some of them were currently being unloaded at the ports.
“When the products start reaching the filling stations, the price of fuel will come down as the recent high cost was due to the decline in supply,” the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Association of Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, told our correspondent.
On Thursday, oil marketers blamed the low supply of PMS from its sole importer, NNPCL, for the appearance of queues for petrol at petrol stations in Abuja and neighboring Nasarawa and Niger states.
However, the national oil company rejected the marketers’ position, arguing that the queues in the affected areas were due to a “price war”.
However, given the latest news regarding imports by NNPCL, operators in the sector said that not only will the queues disappear, but there will be a reduction in prices at independent petrol stations.
Currently, petrol is mainly sold at prices ranging from N580 to N613/litre at petrol stations run by NNPCL. Most other sellers offer this commodity at higher rates, with some selling PMS at as low as N670/litre.
“The most important thing now is that the PMS cargoes ordered by NNPCL have arrived, some of them have docked and are in the process of unloading. So the partial shortage that we are experiencing now will disappear,” Ukadike said.
He noted that the inflow of foreign exchange during the Christmas period will not necessarily have an impact on petrol prices, rather increased imports by NNPCL should justify a price cut.
He said NNPCL has confirmed to marketers the large import of PMS.
On whether marketers have started receiving the products, Ukadike replied: “We will start receiving the products from Port Harcourt and Warri on Monday, as per my last conversation with the NNPC management.”
IPMAN’s position was also confirmed by another leading marketer, stating that “once we wet the market with products, there will be no room for speculation.”
Earlier, NNPCL Corporate Communications Director Olufemi Soneye said the position of oil marketers on the re-emergence of queues for fuel is not true, saying that the oil company has enough products.
“This is not true. The recent tensions in Abuja are essentially a price war typical of any competitive market. Drivers would rather queue at gas stations that offer lower prices than others.
“While NNPC retails in Abuja at N613/litre, prices at other retailers range from N625-650/litre,” Soneye said.