By Patrick Aigbokhan
A recent visit to Lagos depots of some private operators involved in transportation and urged immediate need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries to make public the true cost of imported petrol in the country.
The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Review of Pump Price of Petrol urged NNPC to make the cost public after visiting deports of four private operators, Folawiyo Energy Limited, WOSBAB Energy Solutions, First Royal and Stallionaire Oil & Gas Limited.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Raphael Igbokwe, said in a report Saturday that NNPC and its subsidiaries sourced 90 per cent of petrol while private marketers sourced only 10 per cent of the product into them country.
He explained that the reason for the committee’s curiosity and unannounced visit to some depots is that investigation shows that importation of petrol is no longer profitable to the private marketers and dealers.
“The issue is how come that only the government agencies are engaging in the importation and supply of petrol.
“This will make us to compel them to open their (NNPC and subsidiaries) books for Nigerians to know the true cost of importation of petrol,’’ the Committee Chairman said.
According to him, the committee would find out from neighbouring countries and refineries the cost
of petrol per litre. “We got authentic information from a reliable source that the price of petrol was around N230 to N250 per litre in neighbouring countries,” he said, noting that the official landing cost of petrol was about N130 to N135.
Igbokwe said that the committee, however, received information that the landing cost of petrol was higher than the N145 official rate fixed by government.
While he commended the management of Folawiyo Energy and WOSBAB Energy for being diligent in their operations, the Committee chairman directed the management of First Royal to appear before the committee on May 26 to present its record of operation and explain why it failed to honour two previous invitations by the committee.
Igbokwe noted that officials of the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), had on Thursday sealed Stallionaire Oil & Gas depot at Satellite Town, Lagos due to inadequate storage facilities.
The committee would not shield any depot firm frustrating government’s efforts at making fuel available and affordable to Nigerians, he said.