Fuel prices at independent marketers’ filling stations are expected to decrease this week as a result of significant imports of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, as reported by oil dealers on Saturday.
Recent hikes in petrol prices at retail outlets operated by independent marketers were attributed to the short supply of the commodity, leading to profiteering by both depot owners and filling stations. However, downstream oil sector operators confirmed on Saturday night that numerous cargoes imported by NNPCL had arrived in Nigeria, with some currently discharging at the ports.
Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, anticipates a potential reduction in fuel prices as the recently heightened costs were attributed to supply shortages, and he notes that this could change once the products reach filling stations.
Oil marketers had blamed the emergence of queues for petrol at filling stations in Abuja and neighboring states on the low supply of PMS by its sole importer, NNPCL. However, the national oil company argued that the queues were a result of a “price war.”
Following the recent substantial imports of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), industry insiders expect not only the elimination of queues but also a potential reduction in prices of fuel at independent filling stations.
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At present, fuel is primarily retailed at rates varying from N580 to N613 per liter in filling stations under the operation of NNPCL. Meanwhile, other marketers are dispensing the commodity at elevated prices, reaching as high as N670 per liter.
The significant influx of PMS imports, confirmed by NNPCL to marketers, is expected to alleviate the current partial scarcity. The National Public Relations Officer, Chief Ukadike, mentioned that cargoes carrying PMS ordered by NNPCL have arrived, with some discharging. He expects the partial scarcity to diminish soon.
Regarding the impact of foreign exchange during the Yuletide, Chief Ukadike stated that it would not necessarily affect petrol prices. Instead, the increased imports by NNPCL should prompt a reduction in price. He confirmed that marketers are scheduled to start receiving products from Port Harcourt and Warri by Monday.
Another major marketer supported the position, stating that saturating the market with products would eliminate room for profiteering. The Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, Olufemi Soneye, refuted oil marketers’ claims about fuel queues, asserting that the company has ample products and the recent tightness in Abuja is essentially a price war in a competitive market.