Following the progress recorded in the payment of outstanding subsidy claims to Oil Marketing & Trading (OM & T) companies, which has resulted in improvement in the supply of products, the hike in the ex-depot price and official pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is yet to be reversed by the marketers, THISDAY investigation has revealed.
THISDAY gathered that since December 17, 2012, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has pegged the prevailing expected market price of imported petrol at N144.66 per litre.
However, the private marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) receive a subsidy of N47.66 per litre to sell at official pump price of N97 at the filling stations.
The NNPC and the depot owners are also tasked by the PPPRA to sell at official ex-depot price of N87.66 per litre at the depots, so that motorists could access the products at N97 at the pumps.
But apart from the NNPC, which conforms to the official ex-depot price of N87.66 per litre, all the major and independent private marketers sell at ex-depot price of between N94.50 and N98 per litre.
The PPPRA had attributed the development to supply challenges, which according to the agency, "will be resolved when all the marketers that legitimately and genuinely imported products are fully paid subsidy claims".
It was however learnt that despite the progress made by the Federal Ministry of Finance to pay most of the outstanding claims, most of the private marketers are yet to conform to the official prices.
THISDAY gathered that at the weekend that the least ex-depot price in all the depots in Lagos was N94.50 in NIPCO Plc, while other private marketers were selling between N97 and 99 per litre, against the official price of N87.66.
Two of the marketers told THISDAY that the price would remain high until all the outstanding claims were paid.
They acknowledged that supply had improved but added that most of the marketers were yet to access credits from the banks.
"Only one vessel discharged at Apapa throughout this week but supply is still improving. However, price is still very high because not everybody is importing because of the bank issues," said one of the marketers.
THISDAY gathered that though there was improvement in supply, only one vessel that belongs to one of the private companies discharged products in Apapa last week.
A top official of the company told THISDAY that the vessel came in on January 4, 2013 but could not berth until last week, when it also discharged.