The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has attributed the rising pump prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol to market forces.
Kyari spoke on Tuesday after a meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima at Aso Rock, Abuja as Nigerians continue to groan under the strain of petrol subsidy removal which has made many abandon their vehicles, opting for public transport.
Kyari said with the deregulation of the oil sector, market realities will force the prices of petrol up sometimes and at other times force prices down.
The NNPCL boss said the increase in the price per litre of petrol from over N500 to N617 is not a supply issue, assuring Nigerians that the country has “robust supply” to last over 32 days.
He said the marketing team of the NNPCL is responsible for price adjustment and that the team “adjust prices depending on market realities”.
He said, “This is really what is happening; this is making sure that the market regulates itself so that the prices will go up and sometimes, it will come down also.”
On Tuesday, Nigerians were shocked to see pump prices of petrol adjusted upward. The hike in the price of petrol is the sequel to the increase in the ex-depot price of petrol from N446.57 per liter to N580 per liter.
The situation has triggered panic buying as motorists raced to fill stations to buy petrol.
There were queues at Mobil Filling Station on Ikorodu Road, TotalEnergies at Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, Amuf Filling Station at Bariga, and Conoil in Ikorodu. while there were vehicles on a long stretch within and outside most of the facilities.
Northwest Station in Gbagada sold for N570 per liter, Mobil at Anthony, N580, Amuf in Palmgrove, N558, and Conoil in Ikeja, N590.
Also, some of the NNPCL retail outlets monitored were selling at N600 per liter.
Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, the Chief Executive Officer, 11 Plc, said: “I believe so, fundamentals are changing,
Mr. Mike Osatuyi, Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said petrol, kerosene, and diesel had been deregulated.
According to him, with the development, even NNPCL retails stands as a private entity and not a government-owned company.
He said, “NNPCL is no more in charge of control of price. Now, it is what marketers buy they will sell with their margin. So, it’s not a deliberate act of NNPCL to increase price anyhow or reduce price, but it is based on market forces.
“All marketers will do the same. As we speak, crude has gone up and the dollar is also up. Forex is at N803 per dollar on Import and Export windows which is the CBN rate.
“So, the figure on the new template will make the pricing go up. If the crude reduces and the dollar rate also reduces, it will also affect the price downward.
“Increase and reduction in price are determined by market forces.
“It is the market forces that determine the prices and it is an act of deregulation.
“It’s about the market because everyone is into it to make a profit” he added.