Marketers Agree To Allow Petrol Price Remain At N145

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The meeting, which was presided over by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, wss held at the old Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Addressing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, Mr. Kachikwu said it was informed by the need to get together to review and analyse the circumstances that culminated in the current fuel crisis.

"We now have to go back and find the solution to this problem in order to ease supply gaps and ensure availability of the product at all times, the marketers were able to sell for N145 per litre when the exchange rate was N285 per Dollar".

Representatives of the Independent petroleum marketers of Nigeria IPMAN and Depot and petroleum marketers of Nigeria DAPMAN denied reports that the current fuel scarcity was as a result of blackmail by Marketers saying that since October past year petroleum marketers have been unable to import petrol due to hike in the landing cost of crude.

"The thing is even the Nigerians, who have suffered, will want to be sure that we find a lasting solution and find evidential basis upon which to punish people".

"This is a democratic government".

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"You can not prosecute except you have evidence".

While the Federal Government yesterday insisted on N145 per litre of petrol, the oil marketers said there was no way they can import fuel and sell at the regulated price.

This is contrary to claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which had both fingered marketers in the scarcity of fuel which marred the Yuletide celebrations for Nigerians. Following the Hurricane Katrina in the month of September, October, crude prices went up and marketers lost the ability to import and sell at N145 per litre.

The DAPPMA chairman stated that the meeting was called to consider issues surrounding the recent fuel scarcity with a view to identifying the causes and finding lasting solutions.

However, the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) resolved that only the Executive Secretary of IPMAN, Aminu Abdulkadir‎, should speak for the association.

The minister vowed that the Federal Government would ultimately address the problem.

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"There was no hoarding on the part of any marketer".

According to him, "the incentives are attractive to those diverting these products because while petrol sells for about N300 in some countries, we are selling at N145, so you can see that they are making huge profits".

But the DPR, had accused petroleum marketers of hoarding and diversion of petrol, which fueled the scarcity of the commodity across the country.

He said every participant had an opportunity to contribute ideas on how to solve the problem, which the NNPC blamed on the illegal activities of the marketers.

Although the NNPC is supposed to supply 50 per cent of the products to complement the marketers, no other group is able to import petrol now because of the price. But by October, marketers completely stopped importing because there no more subsidy.

In his remarks, Dapo Abiodun, Chairman of DAPMAN, said the meeting was called to find out exactly what happened; where we had the problems in December with the supply of petrol and how Nigerians were made to go through the pains and suffering.

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"They (government representatives) have also assured us that the refineries are coming on stream with installed capacities".

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