By: Abayomi Adeshida, Abuja
National Public Relations Officer, for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman has described the sudden increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit, PMS, and the scarcity that is creeping on Nigerians as a clear reaction to market forces which was beyond the control of both Major and Independent Marketers in the country.
The Spokesman told journalists in Abuja yesterday in a swift reaction to the scarcity of products which was observed as fuel stations were gradually locking their gates to customers due to the exhaustion of their supplies for last week.
When contacted, Suleiman appealed to Nigerians to, “understand with marketers because the slight increase you witnessed in some stations was due to the reaction to market forces.
“It is true that some of our members are now selling at one hundred and sixty-three naira which was a minimal increase of about one naira beyond the general price that was agreed upon during the last general increase, but you would observe that the minimal markup was due to the changes in some of the variables we considered before we arrived at the last pricing.
“We are still watching the market and we want to see what will happen because twenty-four hours is a long time in business.
“We cannot say outrightly now that there is a scarcity, but within the next few hours or days, we can come out with an official statement.
“When we said we supported the deregulation of the oil sector, that was our understanding and the current events are clear confirmation of the deregulation of the business.
“Before too long, other factors will kick in and Nigerians would reap the full benefits of deregulation of the sector.
“We are still observing the trends in the market and we will assure Nigerians that we will be fair and consider the current economic situation in the country and do all we can to ease the economic burden on our fellow compatriots.
“If you consider the increase in prices over the last five years, you will see that all other considerations have been given some form of boost, but the only cost that has remained constant is the consideration for marketers.
“This is despite the fact that we are the ones who run our stations at huge costs and are exposed to all the risks and losses in the business, we still consider it a national duty to do all we can to continue to work within the same profit margin.
“Very soon, when the indices are right, Nigerians would see how we would crash the pump prices, but currently, we want Nigerians to know that we are all in this together and we wish for a better period very soon..
When this reporter visited some filling stations in the city centre, their gates were locked against car owners.
But at Azman Filling Station at Area 11, Garki, petroleum products were dispensed at one hundred and sixty-three naira and the pump attendant disclosed that the Station would soon shut down temporarily.
According to her, “we are selling our last supplies because that tanker you see there is empty.
“When we finish what we have here, we will shut down temporarily against customers until we get another supply to continue the business.