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Major fuel price increase looms in Nigeria

The approved price of petrol in Nigeria for August will increase, by up to 18 per cent according to estimates, as consumers await the release of the new retail price for the commodity by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

The current approved petrol price, as announced by the PPPRA in July, ranges from N140.80 to N143.80 per litre price.

However, five days into the new month, the agency is yet to publish the petrol retail price advice for August 2020.

Since the recent introduction of the partial deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, new petroleum products prices have been released to the marketers and consumers on the first day of the new month.

The price usually comes in the form of price advice from the PPPRA, the petroleum products pricing regulatory authority, on the recommendation of a special committee on price modulation mechanism constituted to review the fuel market fundamentals for the month.

However, almost a week into the month of August, the PPPRA is yet to come up with a new retail petrol price advice.

But, a new ex-depot price schedule released on Tuesday by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) showed an increase by about N26.84 per litre, or 24.01 per cent from the price in the previous month.

The PPMC is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) subsidiary in charge of petroleum products marketing. Virtually all the petrol used in Nigeria at the moment is imported by the PPMC from whom other marketers and depot owners buy.

On Tuesday, the PPMC announced what the ex-depot price for petroleum products approved for the month August would be

In a memo to oil marketers seen by PREMIUM TIMES, PPMC said that effective Wednesday, August 5, the landing cost of petrol at ex-coastal transfer point for petrol is N113.70 per litre, while ex-depot price will be N138.62 per litre.

In July, the agency fixed the ex-depot price range at between N109.78 and N111.78 per litre.

Ex-depot price is the amount depot owners and marketers are allowed to pay to lift products from NNPC depots for distribution to retail outlets across the country.

To determine the retail pump price the consumers would buy petrol, marketers are allowed additional margins and incidental costs for handling the storage and transportation of the products to retail outlets.

In July, with ex-depot price at an average of N109.78 and N111.78 per litre to the marketers, the PPPRA announced a retail petrol price band of N140.80 and N143.80 per litre price, an increase of about N31 per litre.

The PPPRA is yet to release the retail price advice for the month. But with the ex-depot price now fixed for N138.62, the retail price of petrol could go as high as N170 per litre.
Possible Reason for Delay

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that a health emergency incident reported at the PPPRA headquarters in Abuja on Monday resulted in the decision of its management to order the shutdown of the office and evacuation of staff, who were directed to work from home till further notice.

Following the incident, it was learnt that normal official business was disrupted, including the publication of the fuel price advice for the month

When contacted to seek his confirmation of the incident, the General Manager, Corporate Services of the PPPRA, Kimchi Apollo, did not answer calls to his telephone.
He did also respond to text messages sent to him through WhatsApp media.

Earlier on Saturday when this reporter contacted Mr Apollo over the petrol price advice for the month, he explained the special committee on price modulation mechanism was still working on a new method of handling the issue.

Mr Apollo did not give details on the new method being considered by the committee.
But, a source close to the agency told our reporter the special committee may have resolved to be releasing the monthly fuel price advice directly to the marketers without the involvement of the PPPRA and the media.

The source requested that his identity should not be revealed, as he was not authorised to speak officially on the issue.

The source blamed the delay in releasing the new price by the PPPRA to the health emergency incident in the agency on Monday which necessitated the immediate shut down of the office.
“Since the health emergency situation, everybody has been working from home. We may resume on or before Monday next week. Maybe that is why the committee has not been able to meet to come up with new price for the month,” the source said.

Meanwhile, details of the ex-depot price schedule released by the PPMC for other petroleum products showed ex-Lagos price for diesel is N160 per litre; ex-Oghara/Calabar/Port Harcourt and other depots is N165 per litre.

For kerosine, the PPMC said ex-refinery/Mosimi depot was about N160 per litre, while ex-Apapa jetty price for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or cooking gas was about N110, and ex-depot price for low pour fuel oil (LPFO) was N100.64. Ex-depot price (excluding handling cost) was given at N102.08 for LPFO, limited to only registered end-users.