By G9ija

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Tuesday urged the Federal Government to subsidize the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol as landing cost has soared to N180 per litre.

The association’s National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maiganidi, who made this demand while speaking with reporters on phone, tasked the government to tell the customers the home truth of the petrol market.

He insisted that the government should either deregulate the product fully or subsidize it.

Maigandi noted that should the government refuse to take one of his recommended advice, Nigerians will suffer untold hardship from the fuel scarcity nationwide.

Asked whether there was any upward review of the pump price, he said “most of the private depots are selling petrol for N160 to N164 per litre” instead of N148 per litre.

Meanwhile, some the marketers are vending the product at a pump price of about N162 to N162.50 per litre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This is an indication of a shortfall, which the marketers are asking the government to subsidize.

His words: “The Government should bring back the subsidy or deregulate the petrol market completely since the landing cost is N180/litre”.

Asked why the marketers are not patronizing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depots where the price is still official, he told our Abuja that “you cannot get the product from NNPC depots. NNPC depots will ask you to queue up at the depot”.

Speaking with The Nation on phone, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, dismissed rumours about the imminent upward review of the petrol price.

He said, “NNPC has not increased its ex-depot price”. Continuing, he said, “I am certain that NNPC is not likely to increase its ex-depot price in February.”

According to him, NNPC has a stock of petrol that can last over 40 days. He allayed fears about scarcity of the product.

Obateru urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to clampdown on the marketers that are hoarding petrol.

“We have sufficiency for almost forty-something days. If people are hoarding or increasing their prices that one is for the DPR to look into,” he said.