The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is proposing a N150 per litre price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol.
This is as the embargo placed on price increase by President Muhammadu Buhari has worsened planned fuel price hike dilemma for the corporation.
Landing cost of PMS has surged to N122.03 per litre, about N4 increase from the specification in the pricing template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulating Agency (PPPRA).
This, further checks showed, was responsible for the N4 per litre price hike by NNPC’s mega stations across the country, which hiked their pump price from N141 to N145 per litre.
Some independent marketers, caught in the debacle who were selling at the N145 price before now, have adjusted their pumps to meet up with the market reality.
Further checks by this newspaper showed that seven foreign contractors, including Vitol, Petrocam and Northwest who participated actively in the importation of PMS, have abandoned the contracts.
“The NNPC top notch caught up in this dilemma have approached the president to explain the new market realities to him, but the president refused to hear any briefing on price hike,” a source at the presidency told this newspaper.
“The only option left on the table for NNPC is to push the prices at their stations to the highest point of the price mark.” The source added that the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Mainkanti Baru would still meet with the president next week to brief him on the possibilities of declaring huge losses by the yearend due to the situation.
“Major marketers like ExxonMobil have exited the downstream while Total is on the verge of its exit. Marketers are running at loss; they are not making profits as envisaged and some of them have adjusted their pumps to accommodate price hike.
In all these, the DPR is helpless because the N145 per litre price is still within the range,” an industry source added. The Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Department of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, had earlier hinted that the nation’s difficult business environment may make it difficult to sustain the current pump price of petrol.