By Jude Atupulazi
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said it has no plans to increase the pump price of petrol to N700 per liter nationwide.
This is as a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has threatened to resist the planned increase in the price of petrol they believe is being planned by IPMAN.
The Chairman of IPMAN, South-West Zone, Dele Tajudeen, who spoke in Ibadan last weekend, said the price of the product would not be more than what it was currently being sold for.
His words, ‘Even in the PIA Bill, it has been clearly stated that the subsidy must be removed.
‘So, I want to commend the president for removing the subsidy and I want to say that we are totally in support. This is because the subsidy was a scam.’
The association’s South-West Chairman urged Nigerians to be at rest as the commodity would not be out of their reach.
‘I want to disabuse the minds of the people. They should not panic about it; there is no cause for alarm, we are in control and there is nothing like that,’Tajudeen said.
‘So, people should rest assured that there is no way they can buy petrol more than the price it is being sold now. If we look at the price from NNPC retail limited, which is an integral part of NNPC limited, they have more advantages than independent marketers and major marketers.
‘So, it was the retail price that they announced and they have never given a specific price to the independent marketers. However, I have read what somebody put on the paper, it is just speculation; it is not a reality. Nothing like that, I want to assure the masses.
‘There is no way the price can go to N700 as we speak, because even if the foreign exchange (FX) is N700 or N800, that has nothing to take the price of petroleum from N500 to N700,’ he stated.
Tajudeen said the product had been deregulated, noting that the slight increase and differentials in pump prices were due to the cost of transportation as it was related to location.
‘If you are moving products within Lagos the price may not be more than N300,000 but if you are moving up to Ibadan or thereabouts, it could be as much as N500,000,’ the IPMAN Chairman explained.
He stated further, ‘And if you are going to Ilorin, it could be as high as N700,000, which would account for the difference in prices. I want to say with all sense of authority that as of today, within Lagos metropolis, nobody should sell more than N515 to N520 per litre.
‘Though NNPC has given us the price, the reality of it is that we buy from the market because NNPC limited is not the only source for our product; we get it from private depots.
‘So, whatever we buy is what we put on our own margin and sell.
But as of today, the highest you can get anywhere should be around N550; Lagos, N510 per litre, Ogun State, between N500 and N520.’
Tajudeen therefore urged Nigerians to disregard the speculation and not to engage in panic buying.
Meanwhile, a coalition of CSOs has said it would resist planned increases in the price of petroleum being allegedly worked on by IPMAN.
The CSOs made their position known in a statement jointly signed by the Convener, Dr Basil Musa; and Co-Convener, Malam Haruna Maigida, in Abuja on behalf of others.
Others who signed the statement were officials of the Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy and Action against Corruption in Nigeria, among several others.
The CSOs said that information reaching them was to the effect that IPMAN was planning to increase petrol price to N700 per litre, a move which they vowed to resist by picketing IPMAN members’ filling stations across the country.
They accused the IPMAN of inflicting pain on ordinary Nigerians through their unilateral adjustment of the price of petroleum.
They described the planned increment as unacceptable and called on the Federal Government to stop IPMAN from its alleged profiteering at the expense of ordinary Nigerians.
Culled from News Echo