The reasons why Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, is scarce and expensive at the moment in Nigeria has been revealed by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA).
According to NOGASA, the scarcity and high price of PMS are caused by many challenges, especially high price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
NOGASA said the AGO, commonly called diesel was the major cause of unavailability of PMS because diesel was being purchased by its transporters at high cost to fuel their trucks without profit.
This was disclosed by NOGASA National President Benneth Korie during a briefing with journalists in Abuja on Monday, 19 December 2022.
Diesel is currently sold between N850 to N900 per litre at the filling stations against N170 being sold before.
“We use diesel too to carry all the petroleum products, the vessels carry diesel too, we use diesel too to operate the filling stations and depots, these contribute a lot to the scarcity because of its high cost.
“If diesel is brought down to N170 as it used to be before, then PMS will be sold at a lower price. Subsidy on diesel should be even better than on PMS,” he said.
Korie said the marketers were not happy selling above N200 per litre because of high cost of getting fuel to the stations but had no choice because it was the only way they could assist Nigerians to ensure product availability.
“All our products are being imported, we use vessel to bring in products to the depot which is costly and currently the depot owners are paying close to 85,000 dollars per day to bring in products.
“If you calculate it, including the cost of running the depot and taking products to filling stations, then Nigerians will consider the amount spent and understand better,” he said.
On the persistent scarcity and queues experienced in Abuja and environs, Korie said it was caused by bad roads which was another serious challenge that hampered trucks from distributing products.
“Port Harcourt to Abuja road, is so bad that marketers and transporters are loosing profit daily. If the road could be fixed, it will help the distributors and the situation will improve.
“70 per cent of the delay of getting the products to stations is caused by bad roads, while forex contributes 95 per cent of the cost of importation.
“We use dollars to pay for shipment, port authority and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). So When talking about what it costs to bring these products Nigerians should also consider other things but not just price.
“Marketers need to make profit in the business but no amount you sell the product would be good for Nigeria. The issue is not about price or cost but availability and distribution of the product,” he said.
He said the prices being sold at the filling stations varied because major marketers got from the NNPC Ltd. while the independent marketers got from them.
According to him, they are all Marketers but the price depends on how they get the product.
He confirmed that the intervention of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) had really helped to make it easy.
The briefing was on the backdrop of lingering queues and scarcity of fuel, challenges importers and marketers faced as well as intervention of the DSS.