The Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has affirmed that mega stations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, are supposed to sell fuel at a “much lower price” than the price which other marketers are dispensing.
Regretting that the mega stations are selling between N143 and N145, Kachikwu, who doubles as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, pointed out that the Petroleum ministry and relevant agencies cannot guarantee rational behaviour of managers at all NNPC Mega stations across the country.
He disclosed this in Abuja on Monday while addressing members of the House of Representatives during a special interactive session on the “New Framework for PMS Supply and Distribution” organised by the lower chamber.
The minister spoke in response to a question on why NNPC stations which got products from the nation’s refineries at little or no cost were selling almost at the same price as independent marketers, which sold at N145 per litre.
Kachikwu however noted that monitoring was necessary with regard to product sale at a price that was below those of independent marketers.
“That is being looked at. The NNPC mega stations are supposed to sell at a much lower price than the other marketers but right now some of them are selling between N143 and N145.
“But that is something we are looking at correcting,” he said.
The minister maintained that this was to “reduce nuisance value potential of the stations in the metropolis while stations in the hinterland are to sell at N135 per litre.”
The lawmakers asked the minister to state the obvious by telling Nigerians that there was no deregulation of any kind but a price increase resulting from foreign exchange differential since the government still controlled the price.
Kachikwu told the House that the decision taken was aimed at curbing the problems of product diversion, hoarding, under-dispensing and pipeline vandalism.
“We first looked at the number of litres on which subsidy was being paid.
“The new policy is to address both subsidy issues as well as product availability and distribution which is saving Nigeria about one billion dollars quarterly,” he stated.