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FUEL PRICE: Ex-MOMAN Boss Cautions Against Speculation

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The former Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, has cautioned Nigerians, especially marketers against speculations over petroleum pump prices.

Oyetunji said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday.

He was reacting to a recent statement Mr Mike Osatuyi, National Controller Operations, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) that the pump price would increase to N700 per litre.

Osatuyi on June 28 projected that prices could rise to above N700 per litre in the north once independent marketers start importing the products from July.

Oyebanji said that no marketer could speculate the fuel pump price until importation of the product starts.

Oyebanji, also the Managing Director 11 Plc, said: “It depends on the exchange rate. If those factors are changing, prices of those products will also change.

“As you know, at a time, diesel went up significantly at above N800 per litre, but now it has come down to within N600 to N620 per litre.

“So once you are in a deregulated environment that is how it is, especially when you are importing the product.

“I cannot project price of petrol for now until we import the product.”

According to Oyebanji, at some point, the projection is speculation.

“Not until you order a cargo, know the exchange rates, before you can predict the price.

”Those projecting the price are just saying this on sensational basis to get marketers excited.

”I do not think anybody needs to do that.

“If there’s a certainty; if you are observing the exchange rates, you will see that it is getting worse.

“If the price at the international market is also going up, then, you see how those things are being affected and that is how the price comes in.

“We cannot mitigate prices, people will have to adjust their spending accordingly and priotise their choice,” he added.

Oyebanji, however, added that the price could also be reduced, depending on the exchange rate.

“The bottom line is that there will be an adjustment in price. Yes, it may go up and can also drop, depending on the exchange rate.

“But the good thing is that products will be everywhere. If people see that yours is more expensive than those of the filling stations around them, they will not patronise you. Then, you will be forced to bring down prices so that customers can come and buy.

“There will be healthy competition and which is good for the market,” he said.

Meanwhile, Osatuyi told NAN that fuel being sold by marketers such as DAPPMAN, IPMAN and MOMAN are old stock

“Nobody has imported new products from the new foreign exchange regime and on the new deregulation.

“Marketers are just planning to import, so, everybody is in a transition pricing to the new regime. (NAN)

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