Anxiety as Ex-Depot Petrol Price Rises to N490 Per Litre

According to a report by Vanguard, there was serious anxiety among members of the public yesterday, following a rise in the ex-depot price of petrol by 4.3% to N490 per litre.As a result, some petrol stations have started selling above N500 per litre, N12 higher than the N488 per litre price in the Lagos area.But findings by Vanguard showed that NNPC Limited still sells the product to major marketers at N446.57 per litre.A visit to private depots in Lagos showed that independent marketers, who lift at N490 per litre ended up selling it at N520 per litre at their stations depending on the location in Lagos.It also indicated that while NNPC Limited continues to sell at N488 per litre in Lagos and environs at their retail stations, the major marketers fixed their prices at between N488 and N492 per litre, depending on location.This is even as many operators who bought at N490 per litre were seen reselling at N515 per litre in a thriving black market, a development that has put additional price markups on retail prices.The checks further showed that many independent marketers closed their gates against motorists and other users of the product while some hawkers were seen retailing petrol at exorbitant prices ranging from N550 to N650 per litre at Maryland, Ikorodu road and other parts of Lagos.Vanguard learned that officials of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, are not present to monitor and enforce sanctions against defaulters at the filling stations, a development that emboldened illegal operators to embark on sharp practices, especially pump manipulation and product diversion.