Aside the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the few independent retail outlets that sold the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol in Abuja yesterday,
adjusted their pump prices above the official N617 per litre cap.
The Nation observed that several filling stations shut down while black-marketers, who sold in plastic containers were trickling into the major highways.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), which The Nation sought the reason from, attributed the hike to the non-availability of the product at the depots.
Speaking with our Abuja correspondent on phone, the association’s National Vice President, Mr. John Ocha, noted that the high cost of the Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) diesel was accountable for the scarcity.
According to him, “In Abuja, since yesterday (Tuesday) many filling stations shutdo A.Y. Shafa. But later in the evening, they started selling. It changed its pump to N625. I don’t know any other station that is still making sales.
“The scarcity is because many independent marketers are not selling. And even the tank farm owners, it is only Shafa that I know who is selling. I don’t know of any other one.
“The product is not much there and the cost of landing of the product is quite high because the cost of diesel is very high. A litre of diesel is above N1000.
“For you to move a truck of fuel, for instance, from Warri to Abuja, you will be talking about N300,000 or more.
“And I wonder how many people will do that expenses and still come and be selling about N600 or there about.”
Asked whether the government has not moved against those selling above the official pump price, he said the government has been silent about it perhaps for its inability to cushion the cost of diesel.
“I am sure that adjustment is to accommodate the cost of landing, which the government is silent about because they (government) cannot make provision for diesel. The government cannot cushion the difference.
“The diesel cost is high and therefore that makes the landing cost of the product very high, especially at the very far places.”