The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said the ex-depot price of petrol has dropped from N138 to N133.28 per litre in most of its depots, indicating a gain of N4.72 for marketers.
The drop is even sharper in private depots where the price came down to N130 or N131 per litre, a gain of N7 to the buyers.
The corporation explained that as a result, the pump price of petrol has fallen steadily from N145 per litre to between N142 and N143 per litre in some stations across the country.
Daily Trust notes that motorists with cars having 60-litre tanks, for example, will gain N180 any time they fill their tanks when they hit reserve.
NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affair Division, Ndu Ughamadu in a statement yesterday said the drop was due to a sustained strategic intervention in the sector.
The efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products by the Corporation led to the significant fall in the prices of petrol and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, nationwide.
The statement said efforts are also ongoing to revamp other critical pipelines and depots across the country to further push down the prices of petroleum products for the benefit of consumers.
The statement said a national survey by Oil and Gas Forum, an NNPC weekly TV programme, indicated that in the last few weeks, the price of petrol has fallen steadily from N145 per litre to between N142 and N143 per litre across the country.
The study showed NNPC Mega and affiliate stations sell at N143 per litre, while the pump price range from between N142 and N145 per litre in some major and independent marketers in Lagos, Abuja, Sokoto, Enugu, Delta and other major cities.
One of the respondents in the survey and a manager at an independent fuel retail station in Abuja, Mohammed Abdullahi, said the station currently sells petrol at N142 per litre in line with the prevailing market situation in order to sustain the turnover of the business and to attract more customers.
Another independent marketer in Mosimi, Emeka Ikechukwu, confirmed the ex-depot prices of petrol had dropped.
However, the situation is slightly different in Aba and Umuahia in Abia State and Calabar in Cross River State where most independent fuel stations as well as major marketers sell at N145 per litre.
The survey also showed a similar trend of drop in price for cooking gas with the average price for refilling 5kg cylinder at N2, 215.96 from N2, 500.00 previously.
The study further revealed that states with the lowest average price for the 5kg LPG refill were Kaduna and Niger at N2, 000; Kogi at N2, 005.00; and Oyo at N2, 033.33.
At the NNPC Mega and retail stations nationwide, a 12.5kg of cooking gas that was sold for N4, 500 a few months ago is now sold for N3, 800 while other retail outlets sell the same quantity for N4, 000.
The statement said NNPC has sustained its interventions through sustained improvement in the supply of the products and remodelling of distribution channels to address sufficiency issues across the country.
It added that the corporation has also stepped up the resuscitation of 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 products distribution.
However, a marketer who pleaded for anonymity told Daily Trust last night that the reduction in price has nothing to do with distribution efficiency rather it was due to the slump in the price of crude oil in the international markets.
He said some marketers took the advantage of the slip in price and ordered for cargos at cheaper rates which led to the reduction in ex-depot price.
He said the current situation is not sustainable, stressing that due to the volatility of the oil market, anything can happen at any time.
He said the way out is for the government to ensure complete deregulation of the downstream sector as it did to diesel for the market to determine the price always.