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Why we won’t increase price of petrol -IPMAN

Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN)  said it was not contemplating increasing the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol to N700 per litre.

Chairman of IPMAN Southwest Zone, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, said in an interview on Friday that the price of petrol would not be more that what was being sold at present and urged Nigerians to disregard the speculation and not to engage in panic buying.

He said the increase in the pump price of petrol was because of the transportation cost and that Nigerians should be at rest as the commodity will not be out of reach for the masses.

“I want to disabuse the mind of the people about any increase n price. They should not panic about it, there is no cause for alarm, we are in control and there is nothing like that. So, people should be rest assured that there is no way they can buy petrol more than the price it is being sold now. If we look at the price from NNPC retail limited, which is an integral part of NNPC limited, they have more advantages than independent marketers and major marketers,” he said.

Tajudeen said there was nothing like price increase, adding that there is no how the price can go to N700. He said: “Even if foreign exchange is N700 or N800 to the United States dollar, that has nothing to take the price of petroleum from N500 to N700.”

He noted that the product had been deregulated, hence the differential in prices was due to transportation as it is related to location.

“If you are moving products within Lagos the price may not be more than N300,000 but if you are moving up to Ibadan or there about, it could be as much as N500,000. And if you are going to Ilorin, it could be as high as N700,000. That would account for differential in prices. I want to say with all sense of authority that as of today within Lagos metropolis nobody should sell more than N515 to N520 per litre,” he said.

According to him, even though NNPC has given them the price but the reality is that how they buy is how they would sell.  “We buy from the market; because NNPC limited is not the only source for our product, we get from private depots. So, whatever we buy is what we put our own margin and sell. But as of today, the highest you can get anywhere should be around N550; Lagos N510 per litre; Ogun State between N500 and N520,” Tajudeen said.

Meanwhile a coalition of Civil Society Organisations said it would resist any planned increase in the price of petroleum by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

The CSOs made their position known in a statement jointly signed by the Convener, Dr Basil Musa; and Co-Convener, Malam Haruna Maigida, in Abuja on behalf of others.

Others who signed the statement were officials of Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy and Action against Corruption in Nigeria, among several others.

The CSOs said that information reaching them was to the effect that IPMAN was planning to increase petrol price to N700 per litre, a move which they vowed to resist by picketing IPMAN members’ filling stations across the country.

They accused the IPMAN of running a parallel government and inflicting pains on ordinary Nigerians by their unilateral adjustment of price of petroleum. They described the planned increment as unacceptable and called on the Federal Government to stop IPMAN from its alleged profiteering at the expense of ordinary Nigerians.

The CSOs said the move was an economic sabotage, coming at a time Nigerians are still trying to come out of the “price shock”, occasioned by the increment on May 29. They said that Nigerians were already passing through difficult times over the recently adjusted fuel pump price with no palliatives measures yet in place. They vowed to mobilise their members and other stakeholders across the 36 states of the federation to embark on a protest, adding that the protest would target at shutting down filling stations nationwide.

They added that Nigerians could not afford to be railroaded by IPMAN, in alleged contraction of the position of Federal Government on petroleum price. “As a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), we are monitoring events and the proposed fuel pump hike to N700 per litre by IPMAN and we say it is unacceptable.

If government does not caution IPMAN, we see it as a deliberate collusion to drive Nigerians into unmitigated difficulties. As CSOs, we will not sit and watch that happen. We will mobilise Nigerians into a street protest and that should be taken from us.nWe watched the removal of fuel subsidy regime by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural address on May 29 and we take the dare consequences as part of sacrifice, awaiting when government would have settled to come up with ameliorative measures for the citizens.

“But for IPMAN to adjust fuel pump price will stoke protests because it is not in the interest of Nigerians,’ they said. They said if IPMAN achieved the proposed increase, it would amount to over 451 per cent above what Tinubu Administration met in office, thereby raising the fear of hyper-inflation on cost of goods and services.

They added that “IPMAN was largely behind the mystery litres of petrol consumption that suddenly dropped from 66 million per day to 40 million, after fuel subsidy was removed. “We advise the marketers association to brace up for a change as sharp practices in the downstream sector can no longer be condoned.”