The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Friday said the disparity in pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) in Lagos was due to the loading of the product at different tank farms.
Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union told NAN in Lagos that there were some intermediaries who were adding their own charges to the official price.
The chairman said that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had turned to tank farm owners to dispense petroleum products instead of pumping directly to their depots.
“Instead of tackling the problem of vandalism, they turn to tank farm owners for dispensing of petroleum products.
“The tank farm owners were adding their own charges on the product brought to them by NNPC.
“Before now, we have just five tank farms at Apapa but now, because people realised it’s a lucrative business, we have over 50 tank farms.
“Most of them that did not have money to import, they depend on NNPC to supply the products to the depots.
“This has even degenerated into traffic gridlock at Apapa axis because of tankers waiting to collect the products.
“Presently, some private tank farms are selling for N87 without transport expenses.
“How do you expect the filling station to sell the product at the same price?
“Some of the filling stations that are selling at N87 have adjusted their pumps, which is very bad,” he said.
Mr Adekunle Bamigboye, Vice-Chairman, Western Zone, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said members of his asssociation were not getting the product at NNPC depots.
“Average marketers are not getting the product from NNPC depots.
“Out of the five depots in Western zone, four are not loading. Even the one that is loading does not have the product presently.
“If you go out now, hardly can you find any of the major marketers’ filling stations selling the product.
“We are paying extra money to get the product in the private depots.
“Until NNPC starts dispensing the product in their depots, it is very difficult to sell the product at the official price of N87,” he said.
NAN correspondent, who monitored filling stations in Lagos, observed that most of the filling station owned by the major marketers have no product.
It was observed that only one filling station was selling the product between Constain and Ojuelegba axis of the city, while most of the filling stations along Ikorodu Road were under lock and key.
Similarly most of the independent filling station on Oshodi Express Road are selling the product at between N100 and N110 a litre.
Some of the petroleum attendants said that they were following the directives from their managements.
Their managers were not around as at the time NAN visited the stations.