The Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday cautioned the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) against further increase in petrol price.

National Vice-President of IPMAN, Abubakar Maigadi,  warned that further increases would not favour the market especially now that the demand for the product has dropped.

He said: “We are waiting for the new consignment of petrol for July to come before we can know what NNPCL plans.

“But it is not good for there to be a change of price in July. This is just our advice. It will not augur well when they change the price. We are advising NNPCL not to change the price.”

But IPMAN’s National Operations Controller, Mike Osatuyi, described the current petrol prices as transitional. Osatuyi said the prices may rise to N700 in some parts of the country beginning tomorrow.

He said: “The petrol being sold now is old stock- the ones on the high sea, tanks and filling stations- they are all stocks ordered before the subsidy removal.

“Right now, nobody has imported petrol. People who want to import have to go and source for Forex on their own. We are trying to access funds and place orders for the product. Delivery cannot be earlier than 28 days after an order.” 

On why prices may hit N700 per litre, Osatuyi said: “With a current exchange rate standing at N770 to a dollar today, if you now configure that into the template of $70 a barrel of crude, what do you think that will translate to? A 45, 000-litre tanker of petrol now comes at N23 million.

“Based on a template we have worked, Lagos price will be about N610 a litre and in the farther parts of the country like Maiduguri, it will be like N700. This price will be the basic. Anybody with a superior argument should challenge me.

“The current price of petrol we are buying is a ‘’transition price’. We are not even talking about the VAT (Value Added Tax) that has been gazetted on all petroleum products. So, once that is affected, then it has to be added to the litre price. I don’t want to create panic that’s why I left it at N700.

“Even the NNPCL price per litre will still increase because of the new forex rate at which the firm will import petrol.

“Remember that NNPCL is now operating as a company; it won’t enjoy crude oil swap deals again; it will buy forex at the same price as us. There is no more arbitrage in the sector. It is now how each marketer is able to drive his efficiency that will bring down his cost and the quality of service rendered.”

President Bola Tinubu explained yesterday that petrol subsidy was removed to stop the bleeding of Nigeria’s economy.  He added that it was expedient for the action to be taken to re-engineer the control and management of the nation’s resources.

The President, at the reception hosted by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said Nigeria could no longer be neighbouring countries’ Father Christmas while its economy bleeds.  

His words: “We had no choice but to re-engineer the effectiveness of control and management of our resources to meet the obligation of our oath. I’m standing here, assuring you that I will not relent in working with available resources to cater for Nigerians.

“We can afford to be Father Christmas to the neighbouring countries, but we can’t just afford a petroleum subsidy and a sinking hole around the foreign exchange.

“Yes, I could have said I want a share of my benefits and participate in the habit, but God forbid. That is not why you elected me. You choose me to bring about necessary changes that will benefit not only you, but your grandchildren and our tomorrow.

“We have just started. We have to re-engineer the financial system of the country and see that economic planning and the budgetary process is transparent enough to cater for Nigerians.”

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