The Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) was yet to release the October ex-depot price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol as at last weekend.
The delay kept marketers under different associations anxious as they were uncertain of whether the company would retain the September price or swing it upward or downwards.
Although some marketers and market analysts were upbeat that the price would dip, owing to the marginal decline in the prices of crude oil, other factors also determine the price of petroleum products.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, said “they (PPMC ) and the Federal Government have not sent the memo” on October price.
He revealed that marketers were still loading the product from depots at the September ex-depot price.
Another stakeholder in the downstream sector that pleaded anonymity bemoaned the Federal Government for delaying the release of the new rate.
According to him, in a deregulated market, public holidays and weekends should not deter the PPMC from stating its ex-depot price.
Meanwhile, the citizens were set for a showdown over the removal of the Petroleum Support Fund also known as petrol subsidy.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) were to embark on an industrial action last week before the Federal Government prevailed on them to rescind the decision.
The PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is the sole importer of the PMS despite the presupposed open market of the product. Other major marketers hinged their failure to also import on forex.
Reports had it that there was no slide in the demand for petrol even in the face of the deregulation and recent hikes. Nigeria consumes an average of 58 million litres of PMS daily.
According to the IPMAN National Vice President, “the upward review of petrol prices may not have brought the smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries to an end because it is still relatively cheap in Nigeria.”
Maigandi had last Friday raised consumers’ hope when he said that petrol price crash was likely due to the decline in the prices of crude.
The Brent Crude that was $40 per barrel during the September price adjustment, nosedived to $39.38 at the weekend as US Donald Trump tested positive to COVID -19.
But the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) last month said the price of petrol is not solely a factor of crude oil prices.
Its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, dropped the hint that marketers now have the approval for fixing the prices of petrol because it has been deregulated.