PMS: Fuel marketers finally settle for N145 per litre – Today.ng

fuel queue

Oil marketers in the country have rescinded their decision to push for an increment in the pump price from its current N145 to about N165 per litre.

The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, confirmed this in an interview.

He said, “The government has assured us that it will support us in accessing foreign exchange at the interbank market rate. Major marketers are not pressing for an increase in pump price.

“You can see that some filling stations are even selling below N145 per litre.”

It was learnt the Federal Government, in a bid to avert further hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), had promised marketers to help them access foreign exchange at N305 to a dollar to enable them to import the product.

Following the free fall of the naira against the dollar in recent times, marketers had raised the alarm that it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to import and sell at the current pump price of N145 per litre.

Some marketers had in early August said Nigerians should prepare for another increase in petrol prices due to the continued scarcity of foreign exchange to finance the importation of the product.

The Federal Government had on Monday said there was no immediate plan to raise the price of petrol.

The disclosure came two days after a statement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation quoted former group managing directors of the corporation as suggesting that due to the dollar scarcity and the falling naira, it would be unrealistic to expect the petrol price to remain the same.

The Federal Government, represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Maikainti Baru, among others, on Thursday met with marketers including executives of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association.

A source, who was at the meeting, said in confidence that Kachikwu assured the marketers that he would prevail on banks to ensure that International Oil Companies sell dollars to them at the rate of N305/dollar.

A top executive of one of the marketing companies, said on condition of anonymity, “If we get it (dollar) at that rate, there will be no problem. That’s what they promised us and that is what we are working on.’

Asked if the marketers were comfortable with the exchange rate of N305/dollar considering that N280/dollar was used when petrol price was capped at N145 in May, from N86, he said, “We are not comfortable, but we are managing. If they can prevail on the banks to give it to us at N305, that will be fine.”

Following the adoption of a price band of N135-N145 per litre of petrol four months ago, the minister had secured the support of IOCs to ease major marketers’ forex challenge.

Mobil was to get support from ExxonMobil; Total, from Total Upstream; Conoil, from Shell; Oando was expected to be supported by Agip, and MRS and Forte Oil to be supported by the NNPC.

It was learnt that the support from the IOCs which was said to have later gone dormant, was now being reactivated.

The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, described the exchange rate of N350/dollar as manageably okay, saying with that, the marketers could still make profit.

“The smaller marketers are still having issues because they can’t access all the forex they want,” he added.