Confusion as Nigeria’s PPMC announces two petrol ex-depot prices within 12 hours

. It is N151.56 per litre, no, it is N147.67 per litre – Agency says in two seperate correspondences to depots
A Nigerian government agency, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has announced two different depot prices for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol within 12 hours interval.
The announcement which caused a serious confusion in the downstream sub-sector of the country’s oil industry has spontenously
soared the pump price of the product to as high as N161 per litres.
A Lagos, Nigeria-based New Telegraph newspaper has earlier in an exclusive report revealed the imminent hike in ex-depot price of the product, which led the depot owners to embargo payment for all the prosucts loaded on Tuesday.
Confirming the report, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMS) on Wednesday morning fixed petrol ex-depot price at N151.56 per litre for the month of September.
The right to, according to the statutes, announce the adjustment in prices of the product is reserved for the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) but the PPMC has starting from August begun to announce the ex-depot pricing, causing confusion in the polity.
The announcement, which was conveyed through an Internal Memo signed by D.O Abalaka and sent to all depot owners, stated that the new price was “effective 2nd of September, 2020.”
The memo read; “Please be informed that a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform.
“To this ebd, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)  is now One hindred and fifty ine naira fifty six kobo (N151.56k) per litre. This is effective 2nd September, 2020.”
Less thann12 hours after, the same agency announced another ex-depot price of N147.67 per litre for the same product.
Most of the Private depot visited on Wednesday sold at two different ex-depot prices within one hour.
While most of them adjusted their prices from N138.56 per litre to N151.56 per litre in the morning, they re-adjusted the price to N148 per litre before the end of transactions on Wednesday due to a fresh price advisory from PPMC.
While this is on-going, the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) ordered its members to sell the product at N161 per litre at the retail stations.
Many filling stations in Lagos and Ogun, a survey by this newspaper showed, immediately adjusted their pumps to thenew price of N160 per liter while others rationed the product for their customers.
Stations like Fowobi, Faith and Marvelous, Rakaab all along Itele-Ayobo road sold the product at N160 per litre.
Others like Olawale Filling station, Iswat fillung station off Lagos-Abeokuta shut their gates while Enyo filling station atvOju-Oore Ota was dispensing the product from just two of the eight pumps/nozzle points.
Fuel marketers had, according to a report by this newspaper on Wednesday heightened expectation of a marginal increase of up to N150 per litre in price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol for the month of September as they began to profiteer over delay in official price advisory for the month.
All the depots loading the product in Apapa, Lagos, New Telegraph gathered exclusively on Tuesday, also stopped marketers from paying N138.62 per litre for petrol loaded yesterday being the first day of the month. The ex-depot price of N138.62 per litre was in place for the month of August.
Before the latest announcememt if N151.56 and N147.67 per litre ex-depot price, depots like MRS,  Nipco, Sahara, AA Rano, Rahamaniyya , and Aiteo have sent memos to all the third party marketers who are registered with them to stop payment forthwith.
All the major marketers like Total, 11 Plc, Forte, OVH Energy, and Conoil did not, according to the report, publicly stopped payment, further checks by this newspaper showed, because they largely load the product for their service stations and the account reconciliation could easily be done in house when the possible hike in price is later announced.
The marketers’ hike in petrol loading activities, which was noticed at the depots beginning from the morning of Saturday, August 30, was, according to findings by this newspaper, to play a fast one on the government’s delay in announcing a new price for the product for September.
“All the depots that loaded the product for marketers since Saturday, received about double of the demand previously made by them (marketers) around middle of August,” a manager at one of the depots told this newspaper.
All the third-party marketers who loaded on Tuesday, September 1, however being tasked to stop payment, he added, after his anonymity was guaranteed.
Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, had in a recent interview with New Telegraph lamented that the N6 per litre margin on petrol fixed by the Federal Government represented by the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in 2016 was no longer sustainable under current economic realities, stressing the lean margins have squeezed dealers and prevented them from investing in safety equipment and maintenace currently a challenge to the industry.
He said the industry believes the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) presents an opportunity for necessary reforms and changes to take place in the downstream industry.
He said Nigeria was gradually heading towards full deregulation of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which will enable pump price to be determined by market forces.
He said: “So what the PPMC has done is to look at the average cost of fuel for the last 30 days and arrive at a workable figure that will protect the interest of marketers and end users.
“Some marketers may decide to add N14 or N15 which will put the pump price between N150 and N151 per litre. That is our assumption and understanding because nobody has said so expressly.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved a monthly review of prices of petroleum products in line with international market prices since April, following the impact of COVID-19.
PPPRA had recently announced total deregulation of petrol pump price with the removal of fuel subsidy.

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