Local refiners can crash fuel price to N300/litre – Operators

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The operators of modular refineries have said that the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, should drop to about N300/litre upon the commencement of massive production by the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and other Indigenous producers.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria, Eche Idoko on Sunday, according to The Punch.

Idoko emphasized that what occurred to the pricing of diesel when Dangote began producing it would happen to petrol prices once it was produced in large quantities in Nigeria.

He stated, “A lot of companies today benefit from the importation of petroleum products at the expense of Nigerians.”

He added “If we begin to produce PMS today in large volumes, provided there is adequate crude oil supply, I can assure you that we should be able to buy PMS at N300/litre as the pump price.

“Why make Nigerians buy it at almost N700/litre when you know that if you allow refineries to work the price will come down? Is it because you want to satisfy the global refiners abroad that are making so much from us?”

When reminded that there are arguments that such a price drop is impossible since crude oil, the raw material for PMS, is priced in dollars, the CORAN official asserted that petrol prices will fall once it is produced in large quantities by local refiners.

He said, “We were selling diesel for N1,700 to N1,800/litre, but as soon as Dangote refinery started production he brought down the price to N1,200/litre. What other proofs do you need?

“If the exchange rate drops, diesel will drop below the N1,000/litre price. Now the exchange rate concern is because Dangote imports crude. If he is not importing, the exchange rate may not have so much effect, though he is still buying crude in dollars (in Nigeria) anyway.”

AmBusiness had reported on May 18, that Aliko Dangote, stated that following the launch of the Dangote refinery, Nigeria would no longer need to import petrol starting June this year.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline (petrol) and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of a litre,” the billionaire had declared.

However, speaking on Sunday, the CORAN spokesperson explained that this is why the modular refiners have been advocating for the sale of crude oil at the naira equivalent of the dollar rate.

He said “We have told them (the government) that even the dollars that you are asking us to use and buy this product, it is detrimental to the country. Strengthen the naira. We will buy at the international market rate but at a naira equivalent.

“These are the issues and they know these things but we can’t explain why they really can’t take decisions to change these concerns.

“Get crude to local refineries, allow crude purchase in naira equivalent, make the environment business-friendly, and watch locally produced petroleum product prices crash.”

Nigeria now has 25 licensed modular refineries. Five of them are currently operational and producing diesel, kerosene, black oil, and naphtha. About ten are in various stages of completion, while the rest have acquired licenses to operate.

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