The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, stated that its continuous intervention in the supply of Automotive Gasoline Oil, AGO, also known as diesel, has led to a further drop in the price of the commodity to as low as N150 per litre in some parts of the country over the last two weeks.
The NNPC, in a statement issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja yesterday, stated that while in Port Harcourt, diesel was being sold at an average price of N150 per litre, in other parts of the country, the price was N160, with the exception of a few places.
According to Ughamadu, a national survey by one of its enlightenment programme indicates that in the last few weeks, the price of diesel has fallen steadily from between N175 and N200 per litre as at June 18, 2017, to as low as between N155 and N160 per litre in some stations across the country as at last week.
“The study showed that NNPC Mega Stations and its affiliates across the country sold the product for N160 per litre, while many major and independent marketers in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Onitsha, Enugu, Makurdi and most major cities were selling between N160 and N165 per litre. In Port Harcourt, the average price is as low as N150 per litre,” he noted.
He quoted the manager of a fuel retail station in Abuja, Mr. Ibrahim Isah, as saying that the station had to reduce the selling price to N165 per litre in line with the prevailing market situation in order to sustain the turnover of the business, while an independent marketer in Makurdi, Innocent Abbah, said the going ex-depot price of diesel from tarmac or local private depots is N155 per litre.
Ughamadu, however, noted that the situation was slightly different in Asaba and Warri in Delta State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State where most independent fuel stations as well as major marketers sold the product for N180 per litre.
He said NNPC’s interventions included sustained improvement in the supply of the product and remodeling of the product distribution channels to address sufficiency issues across the country.
Another area of intervention that has enhanced supply and distribution of diesel, he noted, was the NNPC’s robust engagement with critical downstream stakeholders such as Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, as well as Independent Petroleum Marketers, leading to the resolution of salient issues.
He said: “The corporation has also taken huge steps to resuscitate some of its critical pipelines and depots such as the Atlas Cove – Mosimi Depot Pipeline, Port-Harcourt Refinery – Aba Depot Pipeline, Kaduna – Kano Pipeline and the Kano Depot which have enhanced efficiency in the distribution of AGO. Efforts are also ongoing to revamp and re-commission other critical pipelines and depots across the country.
“Furthermore, as a result of consistent positive engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the corporation has equally achieved the expansion of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, Foreign Exchange Intervention Scheme to accommodate diesel and aviation fuel.”
Ughamadu explained that the price of AGO crashed by about 42 per cent nationwide, a huge downslide over the last six months, following key strategic interventions by the NNPC.
He stated that in the first quarter of 2017, retail prices of AGO, which is one of the deregulated products, shot up to an all-time high of N300 per litre in major demand centres across the country.
The unpleasant situation, he added, placed a huge burden on truck drivers who use the product as fuel for their vehicles and the nation’s manufacturing sector which requires it to run its operations, as well as on the masses who need it for household power generation.