July 28, 2016
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5
Product racketeering worsens, sells
at N180 per litre
Ejiofor Alike
The official price of kerosene will move up
to N135 from N73 per litre on Monday,
THISDAY investigation revealed
wednesday.
According to reliable sources, the
Pipelines and Product Marketing
Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
(NNPC), has decided to increase the ex-
depot price to N135 per litre with effect
from Monday, after the next consignment
of about 17,000MT capacity imported
vessel arrives Lagos this week.
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THISDAY gathered that following foreign
exchange crisis, which makes it difficult
for the private marketers to access foreign
exchange at the official price, the PPMC
assumed the sole importer of kerosene,
thus leading to the scarcity of the
product.
But THISDAY learnt that the public who
are the end users would not be losing
much as the product had always sold
above the N73 official price because of
racketeering by officials of PPMC and the
marketers.
In the massive scam, officials of PPMC
allocate the product to marketers at ex-
depot price of N73 per litre, while the
marketers sell to the public at over N180
per litre, THISDAY’s investigation
revealed.
In a circular number: PPMC/MKT/
IBN/01/2016, signed by one LNS
Madubuike, the PPMC had directed
marketers to pay N73 per litre for
kerosene imported by the company. The
marketers, however, sell the product to
the public at between N180 and N250 per
litre.
Some independent marketers, who could
not get allocation from the PPMC, told
THISDAY that some officials of PPMC
collect bribe of N1 million on every truck
of kerosene allocated to the marketers.
Another alleged scam by PPMC officials in
kerosene importation, it was learnt, is that
up to 50 trucks are not discharged in
every imported vessel.
According to a PPMC source, after
discharging kerosene to the private
marketers, this quantity is left in the
vessel by PPMC as Remain on Board
(ROB) and nobody knows what happens
to this product.
NNPC’s spokesman, Mr. Garuba Deen
Muhammadu, however, told THISDAY
yesterday that he would find out the true
situation from the PPMC before
responding to the issues raised.
But it was gathered that PPMC has been
the sole importer of kerosene as the
private marketers use their limited foreign
exchange to focus on the importation of
petrol.
An official of PPMC, who was not happy
with the fraud in kerosene allocation, said
that it was brisk business between some
officials of the company and the
marketers.
“We thought that things will change with
the new administration. It actually
changed initially but is now business-as-
usual. It does not serve public interest to
allocate kerosene at N73 or N135 per litre
to some people at public expense and the
beneficiaries will sell to the public at N180
and even N250 in some instances. This
arrangement serves private pockets and
something has to be done fast about it,”
he said.
Investigation revealed that from the last
consignment imported by the PPMC, the
independent marketers were selling at ex-
depot price of between N170 and 182 per
litre.
Some of the independent marketers
whose depots had sold kerosene between
N170 and N182 per litre include: Capital
Oil, Eterna Oil; Rahamaniyya, Aquitane,
AA Rano, and Obat Oil.
It was also gathered from PPMC sources
that Honeywell, Aiteo and NIPCO Plc
would share the next consignment of
PPMC’s kerosene that will arrive this
week.
However, it was gathered that PPMC has
increased the ex-depot price of this new
consignment from N73 per litre to N135
per litre.
It was also learnt that because of the
scam perpetrated by the marketers and
the PPMC officials in kerosene allocation,
the major marketers have shunned
kerosene business to protect their
business integrity.
“The whole kerosene thing is messy and
that is why the major marketers do not
want to get involved. The major marketers
are not ready to give anybody bribe and
sell above stipulated price. The whole
thing improved when President Buhari
came in initially. You will recall that Forte
Oil became involved and it sold kerosene
at N50 per litre to the public and it was
publicised. But now, we are back to the
status quo and the whole thing has
become messy. The major marketers are
not ready to play ball to get kerosene
allocation,” said one of the major
marketers, who spoke to THISDAY off the
record.
At the early stage of President
Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,
Forte Oil had commenced the sale of what
it described as “Buhari Kerosene” at N50
per litre in its retail outlets in Lagos.

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