Despite a fresh directive by the Nigerian Government for the price of Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol to be sold for N125 per litre, many retailers across most parts of the country have continued to dispense the product at N145.
Nigerians, who turned up at various filling stations on Thursday morning to buy the product were left disappointed as they had to purchase it at the old price.
During visits to filling stations in Lagos, Ondo, Abuja, Adamawa and Bayelsa by SaharaReporters correspondents on Thursday, it was observed that nothing significant had change as managers and attendants at facilities visited totally ignored the new directive by government.
At Total filling station in the Maryland area of Lagos for example, the price of petrol per litre was still set at N145.
An attendant at the station, who asked not to be named, said he had not received directives from his manager to sell at the reviewed price.
Just across the road at the Oando filing station, Onigbongbo, it was the same story as the product was still being sold for N145 per litre.
“The way you heard it in the news was the way we also heard it. We are not clear on the directive, so we are still selling at N145.
“Maybe if you check back by weekend, it may have changed,” said Ayo Kazeem, an attendant at the station.
At Eterna filling station in the Aguda, Ogba area of Lagos, petrol still sells for N143.
An attendant SaharaReporters spoke with, said they were still having old stock and cannot sell at a loss.
“The management is yet to issue a directive for us to reduce the pump price,” the attendant said.
A survey of some petrol stations in Ikeja, Lagos, showed that the product still sells for the old price of N145 per litre.
At MRS filling station in Ikeja, one attendant, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said he was aware of the reduction but had not been directed to sell at the new rate.
He said, “I heard from news that the government had ordered the reduction in price but my boss has not directed me to start selling at the new price.”
The attendant said the branch office will immediately start selling once they got the order to do so.
The case was same at Total filling station also in Ikeja as petrol was still being sold for N145 per litre.
Meanwhile, commercial transport operators have expressed concern over the situation, calling for filling station workers to implement the new price regime.
A cab driver plying the Lagos/Abeokuta route, expressed hope that petrol marketers would obey the directive.
He said, “We still buy petrol at the same price, nothing has changed yet.
“We hope they can start selling at the reduced price, which in turn will lead to a reduction in price of transportation fares.”
A bus driver urged government to enforce compliance, stating that marketers were not ready to reduce the pump price of petrol.
In was the same tale in Akure, Ondo State, when SaharaReporters correspondent went round the city to observe the situation.
Most major marketers still sold the product for N145 per litre apart from the NNPC station on Ado/Owo Expressway.
It was also observed that Bovas and Rano filling stations on Oke Ijebu axis of the state capital had complied with the directive.
At a filling station on Fiwasaye Road in Akure, a female petrol attendant told our correspondent that the management of the facility was yet to comply with the new directive.
General Manager of the facility, Mr Olumide Adegbote, said the station still sold at the old price because they were yet to exhaust old stock.
He said, “We still have to sell at N145 because we got the product at a high price, so it will amount to a huge loss for us if we sell at N125.
“But I'm optimistic that starting from weekend, we must have pushed the old stock out fully and start selling for N125 per litre.”
Petroleum marketers in Abuja and environs have also continued to sell at N145 per litre despite the new price regime announced by government on Wednesday.
Checks within the metropolis revealed that many stations refused to sell the product while others, who retained the old price, said that they would revert to the new price when their stocks were exhausted.
Only NNPC filling stations and Oando complied with the new directive to sell at N125 per litre.
The situation led to long queues of vehicles and traffic at the NNPC facility around the Central Business District near Wuse Zone 1.
Other stations visited by our correspondent, who have refused to comply with the new directive include Eterna, Forte Oil, Conoil and Total.
A station manager, who refused to be named, told SaharaReporters that they cannot afford to yield to the directive because they would run at loss.
He said, “Government has said their own but we have to sell what we have at hand or are they going to pay us our money?
“What of people who loaded 20 to 30 trucks of petrol at the old price, what are they going to do?
“Government should have given us one week notice ahead for people to sell what they have in stock.”
SaharaReporters can confirm that only the NNPC mega station in Yola, the state capital, has adjusted its price to the N125 new price in Adamawa.
The situation has also created long queues of vehicles at the NNPC mega station as motorists scrambled for the product.
At the Total filling station along Airport Road, an attendant, Ibrahim Mohammed, told our correspondent that they were waiting for a circular before adjusting to the new pump price.
A vehicle owner, Solomon Egwu, welcomed the new price regime but said that it was long overdue.
He said, “What the government has done is good even though this thing is long overdue because we have been agitating for it for a long time.”
Filling stations in Bayelsa State are also yet to comply with the new directive of the Nigerian Government to adjust from N145 to N125 per litre of petrol.
When SaharaReporters visited filling stations in parts of the capital, Yenagoa, it was still business as usual while some were under locks.
At one NNPC outlet in Tombia, attendants still dispensed fuel at N145 and when asked of non-compliance to the directive, some of them said their boss hadn’t adjusted meter or instructed them to do so.
It was the same at Sobaz filling station where the product was still being sold for N145 per litre.
The decision to lower the pump price of petrol was announced at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Consequently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had been directed to ensure the new price was adhered to by all stakeholders.
In a statement signed by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, government said Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency should modulate pricing in accordance with prevailing market dynamics.
The statement reads, “The drop in crude oil prices has lowered the expected open market price of imported petrol price below the official pump price of N145 per litre.
“Therefore, Mr President has approved that Nigerians should benefit from the reduction in the price of PMS which is a direct effect of the crash in global crude oil prices.
“In view of this situation, based on the price modulation template approved in 2015, the Federal Government is directing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to reduce the ex-coastal and ex-depot prices of PMS to reflect current market realities.
“Also, the PPPRA shall subsequently issue a monthly guide to NNPC and marketers on the appropriate pricing regime.
“The agency is further directed to modulate pricing in accordance with prevailing market dynamics and respond appropriately to any further oil market development.”
The current landing cost of petrol is N64.32 after a barrel of oil in the international market dropped to $27 on Wednesday.