The Akwa Ibom chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says its members are currently lifting petrol at the cost of N144 per litre as against N133.28 approved by government.
The state IPMAN Chairman, Mr. Ubong Isong, disclosed this on Thursday in Eket while speaking with newsmen on the current price hike of petrol in Akwa Ibom.
Isong explained that the private depot owners were selling the product to marketers at N144 as against the approved rate of N133.28 at the NNPC depots.
He said the price increase witnessed at the private depots was responsible for the increase of pump price of petrol from N145 to N158 per litre in the state.
“We want to let you know that our operation recently is having problem of price.
“What I can say exactly is that private depot owners have increased the price of petrol sold to our members, this affects the petrol price at the outlet stations in the state.
“The product we received is not being given at government approved ex-depot price of N133.28,” Isong reiterated.
He said that marketers’ profit margin had been seriously tampered with by private tank farm operators in the state.
IPMAN Chairman, however, lamented that the allocation of product from NNPC to the state had been grossly inadequate, alleging that the private depot owners did not have enough product supply.
“If marketers add their transport and loading expenses, the price of petrol will land between N148 and N149.
“So they have to sell petrol between N155 and N158 per litre in order to have profit from their investment,” Isong said.
He said that if NNPC had enough supply for marketers, the entire system would be flooded with petrol and the pump price would return to N145 per litre.
Isong then absolved IPMAN members from blame for the current hike in price of petrol in the state.
“When marketers get petrol at normal price (ex- depot price), everyone will be struggling to make sale to meet up with their bank facilities.
“But when price is increased, you cannot buy product at higher price and sell at a lower price because you also want to make profit and remain in the business,” IPMAN chairman said.
Isong said that though price of petrol was increased, it was better than outright scarcity of product.
“I will advise marketers to, instead of keeping the state dry, bring the product and sell it at a price that will not affect the public too much,” Isong said.