In a bid to address the high prices of diesel in the country and transportation challenges in distributing petroleum products, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC Ltd) are believed to be working out “some interventionist palliatives’’.
An understanding with oil marketers to resume loading and movement of Premium Motor Spirit from the depots has been reached.
The deal which is expected to be announced on Monday will bring to an end the transportation challenges being faced by oil marketers in the distribution of petroleum products across the country.
The understanding between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, and the oil marketers followed the challenges being faced by some of them in the distribution of PMS as a result of the high diesel prices.
On the palliatives, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) said it is working hard on getting Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) palliatives from the Federal Government
NARTO National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman, who disclosed this, urged members of the association to resume full operation in order to alleviate the current petrol scarcity.
“I am calling on our members (transporters) to get back to full operation now that 25 percent has been implemented.
“I can confirm that the 25 percent rate has been approved and implemented. So, I am calling on members to get back to operations with a view to reducing the suffering of the general public.
“In addition, we are trying to look into how to get AGO palliatives from the government.”
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Crude oil now sells for about $139 per barrel and as a deregulated product, when crude prices are high, diesel prices are expected to rise as well.
Following the deregulation of diesel, the federal government does not subsidize the product as the price is determined by the international market.
Transportation cost has gone up too high for marketers because of the high price of diesel.
As part of efforts to resolve the issue, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari, has written a letter to the effect that the NNPC selling price to depot owners will be adjusted downwards and the difference added to bridging cost paid to retailers.
However, this development has been confirmed “tacitly’’ by NARTO which has called on its members to resume full operation.
According to the organization, this followed the decision of the federal government to pay the 25 percent increase in freight rate for petroleum products which amounts to N11.87 per litre, up from N9.5 per litre previously.
Some NARTO members had suspended their services because of the high cost of operation and consequently demanded an increase in freight rate from the government.
In a related development, the NNPC has said it has not increased the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) as being rumoured in some quarters.
It issued a statement posted on its Twitter handle on Sunday reacting to some reports claiming that a review of the ex-coastal, ex-depot and NNPC retail prices have been carried out.
NNPC said:“It is fake news obviously concocted to cause confusion and to undermine the progressive drive of the NNPC to restore normalcy to the market.
“The general public and in particular industry operators at all levels should disregard this mischievous act of misinformation.
“NNPC Ltd remains focused and determined to reposition itself to provide value to its shareholders while meeting its statutory obligation as the provider of energy security for our country.’’