Already, some filling stations belonging to independent marketers in major cities such as Abuja and Lagos are beginning to sell petrol below the N145 given last week by the Federal Government as the benchmark price per litre.
The Federal Government had penultimate Wednesday announced a new price regime of N145 as the maximum amount for a litre of petrol. This has prompted the Nigeria Labour Congress to declare a nationwide strike, demanding the return to the old prices of N86 and N86.50 per litre for fuel outlets controlled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and major/independent marketers, respectively.
The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obafemi Olawore; the President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Obasi Lawson, and an executive member, Reconciliation Committee of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dibu Aderibigbe, in separate interviews, said the cost of petrol would fall in the near future as a result of the competition, which the new price policy had created.
Olawore said, “I just returned from Abuja and I discovered that there are two retail outlets around Jabi (in Abuja) that were selling at N137 per litre. This is because they needed to offload the stock and get more.
“So, when we get to the point where everybody has the product as we are doing now, those who want to quickly turn their tanks round will choose the price they want to sell. I am very confident that in spite of the unfavourable exchange rate, we will get to the point where prices will be moving up and down.”
Lawson also stated that the current partial deregulation policy of government would liberalise the oil and gas industry and engender competition that will warrant a reduction in price.
He said, “In less than one month, we will start reaping the benefits of the new policy.
This new policy of the Federal Government that effected the change in price of the PMS is a welcome development and the PMS prices will start coming down very soon.”