Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
Oil marketers across the country are not abiding by the N150 per litre price for household kerosene as approved by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. They have continued to dispense the product at an average price of N288.68 per litre.
This was confirmed by the National Household Kerosene Price Watch for September 2016 prepared by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The NNPC had on several occasions stated that marketers should dispense kerosene at N150 per litre to their various customers.
Early this month, the national oil firm announced that it had fixed the price of kerosene at N150 per litre.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had called on petroleum marketers not to sell the commodity above the approved price, adding that issues surrounding the scarcity of kerosene had been addressed.
He also stated that all NNPC retail and mega stations had been supplied with kerosene and were selling at N150 per litre.
But the latest report by the NBS, released on Friday, showed that the average price of kerosene across the country was N288.68 per litre, indicating a difference of N138.68 when compared to the N150 per litre price that was approved by the NNPC.
A further analysis of the report showed that the product was sold for at least N300 per litre in Abia, Bayelsa, Enugu, Imo, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun and Rivers states during the period under review.
Plateau was recorded as the state with the lowest average price for the product as it was sold for N252.28 per litre there.
This, however, is still higher than the approved price of N150 per litre.
When contacted, an oil dealer and a members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria told our correspondent that the profit margin for kerosene was not as much as people thought.
The dealer explained that despite the intervention of the government with regard to accessing foreign exchange, some marketers were still experiencing challenges and they sometimes resorted to the parallel market for forex.
The marketer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Not every oil marketer is interested in the sale of kerosene. The turnover is not as much as people think and you know that the sale is not as fast as PMS (Premium Motor Spirit). So, going into it is not attractive to many of us.
“Also, the issue of forex has not been completely settled. Some of us sometimes encounter challenges in assessing it despite the intervention.”
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