The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) took the latest decision of marking down the ex-depot price of petrol in a bid to keep it competitive after the state-owned firm lost the monopoly of fuel importation and other oil firms were handed licences to begin to bring in imports, industry operators said Wednesday.
The NNPC held a vast stockpile of petrol prior to taking the business decision, reports said, prompting it to slash its ex-depot price as a way of remaining competitive after the policy shift took effect.
Until the liberalisation of the downstream sector teed off in March, the corporation had remained the only importer of petrol in the country.
Oil marketers as well as officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) stated in Abuja that the understanding that the petrol’s cost might crash when other marketers start to bring imported fuel into the market led NNPC to slash the ex-depot price.
Even though the lowered price has not affected the pump price, they said the cost of fuel at the filling stations may fall further in June.
“When the NNPC made a reduction in ex-depot price for PMS, there was a serious confusion because people thought that with the move, it would lead to a reduction in pump price. But it didn’t happen,” said a senior official of PPPRA, pleading anonymity.
He went further to say: “now, the reason was that the NNPC made a business decision because the corporation is just like any other marketer right now.
“The NNPC is going to be importing and selling as much as all other marketers will be importing and selling too.
“So, there is no preferential treatment given to anybody at all. What is happening is that the NNPC gave its own business decision because they have a lot of stock.”
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