By James Ogunnaike
The South West chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed all its members in the zone to increase the dispensing pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petroleum from N143 to N150 in their respective filling stations.
IPMAN South-West Zonal chairman, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen who spoke with journalists on Thursday in Abeokuta, said the directive became necessary in order to avert the planned shutdown of petroleum filling stations across the zone.
He explained that the decision to increase the dispensing price followed a new price regime announced by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) which increased the depot price of the product from N133. 72k to N138. 62k without consulting with other critical stakeholders like IPMAN.
While berating the PPPRA for what he described as “policy inconsistency”, Tajudeen further told journalists that PPPRA’s new depot price has subjected IPMAN members to a serious dilemma and after careful deliberations and consideration of many factors, IPMAN zonal Executive Committee arrived at the conclusion of increasing the pump price to N150 rather than joining saboteurs at creating artificial scarcity of the product.
It would be recalled that the Downstream Subsidiary of NNPC, Petroleum Products Marketing Company ( PPMC) on Tuesday in a memo signed by its Manager, Sales, Mohammed Bello fixed ex-Depot of petrol to 138.62 per litre with directive to take effect from August 5th 2020.
According to the memo, ex-depot price of diesel was fixed at N160 and N165 per litre for Lagos and Oghara respectively, while ex-depot for kerosene was 160 per litre.
But the zonal chairman further stated that the new price regime of N138. 62 as announced by the government, came as a surprise to his members who were not given any directive as to what the new pump price should be even after 48 hours of waiting for the PPPRA and its parent body, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“After careful deliberations and consideration of many factors, the IPMAN Zonal officers hereby declared that all its members should henceforth increase their pump price to N150 and shelves the plan of total close down of petrol stations across the South West.
He said the PPPRA is not consistent and in organise in dealing with the stakeholders, saying that the normal thing to have done was to involve marketers, and other parties before announcing any increment.
“Even after announcing the new ex-depot price they should have fixed the pump price for markers to prevent unnecessary debt”, Tajudeen stated.
He further expressed dissatisfaction at PPRA’s action which he said failed to consider the welfare of its members, most of whom he claimed conduct their businesses with bank loans.
“It is very disheartening to hear that a new price regime is coming to effect, without considering the plight of marketers who bought these products at an expensive price
“And Federal Government needs to know that some of us obtained loans from banks to run this business and we have to pay interest on them.
“We are still struggling with debts incurred before this increase with nothing to show for it, or how can somebody work with only N2.00, and yet we will pay workers, maintain the loan and also fulfill our obligations to the government.
“Yes, it is mandatory that we meet the needs of FIRS, pay State taxes, DPR fees, pay Weight and measure fees, pay salaries of our workers, pay Union dues, pay our insurance fees and of course, buy diesel to power generators at our various filling stations. So, when we removed all these expenses we are left with almost nothing”. IPMAN chairman stated emotionally.