Nigerian motorists were yesterday startled upon discovering that majority of fuel stations across the country failed to comply with the directive of the Federal Government reducing retail pump price of petrol from N145 per litre to N125. President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday approved a reduction in the price of Premium Motor Spirit(PMS), otherwise called petrol in the wake of falling crude oil prices.
The Federal Government also directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to reduce the Ex- Coastal and Ex-Depot prices of fuel to reflect current market realities.
Announcing the approval for price modulation on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in a statement, also revealed that PPPRA would be doing a monthly guide to NNPC and marketers on pricing, in line with prevailing oil market price.
But twenty four hours after the directive was given most marketers across the country were yet to reflect the new pump price.
While a few stations in Lagos complied with the directive, others continued to sell at the old retail pump price of N145 per litre, on the pretext that the engineers to adjust the metres were being awaited.
Some managers of the independent retail outlets who spoke to Daily Sun in Lagos, said the directive was too sudden as they had yet to dispense with the old stock of N145 and could not sell at N125 as such would amount to huge losses on their part.
Ironically, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail outlet on Iju which ought to have taken the lead by selling at the new rate as directed by government failed to comply.
But another NNPC outlet on College Road, sold at the new approved rate of N125.
At other major marketers outlets including Mobil, Conoil, Forte, MRS and Total, compliance level was low as some sold at the new rate, while others didn’t.
At Enyo fuel station at Fagba bus stop on Iju road, Lagos, consumers bought N145 per litre as at yesterday afternoon.
From the South-East zone, majority of fuel marketers in Nnewi, Abakaliki and Onitsha failed to comply with the new directive. At Nnewi, Anambra State, fuel marketers refused to adjust their pump to reflect the price cut as they described the decision by the Federal Government as arbitrary.
An independent marketer in the State operating a chain of filling stations across Nnewi and environs, Chief Kenneth Maduakor, said the Federal Government ought to have given marketers advance notice.
Maduakor who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KM Oil and Gas Limited, was visibly angry as he queried the rationale behind the Federal Government’s decision to crash fuel pump price without putting into consideration what would be the plight of the dealers who had just replenished their stock a day or two before the pronouncement.
Dealers in Ebonyi continued to sell fuel at price N145/ liter defying government’s new pricei
Filling stations in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state and its environs were yet to adhere to the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as approved by the Federal Government.
However, a visit to some of the filling stations located in Abakaliki on Thursday showed that fuel stations in the state were still selling at the old price of 145 naira per liter.
Our correspondent visited Mobil filling Station, Ogoja Road, Jessco Filling Station Afikpo Road, Harris Filling Station Enugu-Abakaliki express road and Total Filing station Ogoja Road among others only to discover they were all selling at N145 per liter.
A fuel dealer in the state who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that they could not sell at the new price since they bought a higher depot price.
He said selling at the new price will affect them since the product they have were purchased at the rate of 145 naira per liter
He said, “we can not sell at 125 naira per liter now because what we have is old stock. We did not buy at that amount. There will be great loss for us if we sell what we bought at N145 for N125. We are not saying that we are not going to sell at N125, but that would be after selling our current stock. A tricycle operator who spoke to Daily Sun however applauded the Federal Government for the reduction of fuel price, adding that it will reduce the cost of goods and services.
The operator who gave his name as Uguru, however said government should not stop at approving the reduction alone, but should also enforce the new price.
He said: ‘’I like the reduction. But it does not end there. As you can see no filling station is selling at N125 now. And they will not do so until they are forced. So government has to force them to sell at the new priceof N125, if not, it will just be on paper and on radio without people enjoying it’’
In Awka, the Anambra State capital, many filling stations were yet to adjust to the new price regime announced by the Federal Government.
At Femas Filling Station on the popular Aroma Junction, fuel was being sold at the old price of N145.
One of the attendants, when asked why the station has not adjusted to the new price, simply said that she had no idea of any price change.
“We are still selling at N145” she told Daily Sun even as she moved on to attend to a buyer.
At NIPCO Filling Station in the same Aroma Junction along Ifite Road, fuel was still sold at N145 as at the time of filing this report.
A female pump attendant who spoke to Daily Sun simply said that the station still uses old pump price.
When Daily Sun visited Sinai Oil and Gas at the popular UNIZIK Junction along Enugu–Onitsha Expressway, the story was the same. A staff of the station retorted when this reporter asked why the station still sold petrol at N145.
“Do you think that change of price is possible in Anambra State? The same government that changed price will still come here and collect bribe. “They will still come here to look for something that will be given to them. There is corruption in this country”, she regretted.
The pump attendant utterances suggested that the management of the station would be willing to abide by the Federal Government’s directive but would be deterred by certain factors.