…Sell far above N150/litre recommended price
By Ediri Ejoh & Joyce Nwachukwu
PRICES of Kerosene in many filling stations are still far above the Federal Government’s recommended ceiling of N150 per litre.
Visiting some of the stations in Lagos last week, Vanguard findings revealed that major marketers have either placed their price within N180 – N195 range or totally suspended sale of kerosene.
Vanguard also found that most independent petroleum products marketers sale at price range of N200 – N220 per litre.
The current price ranges have been in place for over six months now indicating that there has been no significant change or compliance with the government’s directive on price ceiling.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, last month, announced the price ceiling, calling on petroleum marketers not to sell the commodity above the price.
It’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had stated that the issues surrounding the scarcity of Kerosene had been addressed while disclosing that all NNPC retail and mega stations had been supplied with Kerosene and are selling at N150 per litre.
However, marketers who spoke to Vanguard lamented that since the product is imported the current challenges with foreign exchange sourcing and pricing has made it impossible to comply with the recommended price.
Some of the filling stations that were not selling Kerosene as at time Vanguard visited due to cost and pricing issues include NIPCO, Forte Oil, Total Oil and Mobil Oil, all in the vicinity of Berger area of Apapa, Lagos.
According to an attendant who simply identifies himself as Kehinde, at Total filling station, they had stopped selling Kerosene due to what he called ‘bad business’.
At some other filling stations such as Forte, Nipco and Mobil in the same area the attendants said normal price of Kerosene at their stations was between N183 and N195 per litre.
Also, at Kirikiri Road in the Apapa area Vanguard gathered that Kerosene sales to direct consumers are restricted as black marketers confirm to have bought the product at N183 per litre at some of the filling stations.
The black market dealers then resale to direct consumers at over N220 per litre.
At Alakija, the scenario was no different as dealers said they bought from MRS Oil at N195 per litre before they said the product has finished on Wednesday (last week).
Speaking to Vanguard while lamenting the hard time in purchasing the product at the petroleum stations one of the black market dealers, Abiodun Olah, said “ I was surprised when you said the official price of kerosene was N150.
“This is because I have never purchased it for anything less than N185 at the stations. Infact, you can barely get the product at the stations, as many have put a stop to the importation of kerosene.
“I believe the greatest challenge we have in the country is lack of enforcement of law by regulatory agencies. “Today, across the country, there are discrepancies in the price of petrol ranging from the regulatory price cap of N145 per litre to as high as N200 in other states, simply because we have weak regulatory agencies in the petroleum industry and that is not helping the country”.
On his part, another black marketer, at the Boundary area of Apapa, who identify himself as John Obi, stated: “if we recall, there were periods when we heard that the Federal Government had subsidised the price of kerosene and was to be sold for N50 per litre, which never happened at the filling stations, but was sold only at the NNPC stations.
“The government has never been sincere with the plight of Nigerians, rather we play politics with commodities that are beneficial to the ordinary man, and that is not fair for a system that claims to be for the people,” he added.