Nigeria may be headed for another round of Kerosene crisis as the Federal Government has directed petroleum depots to sell the Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) at N73.37k per litre from the initial price of N40.90k per litre it had set earlier.
At the former price of N40.90k per litre, only Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) outlets sold at the recommended price of N50 .00. while other filling stations sold at between N120.00 and N150.00.
The Federal Government had pegged price of Kerosene at N50 per litre, making the product to be scarce and prompting marketers to indiscriminately hike the retail price to between N80 to N100 per litre.
But the latest directive on the new price was contained in a memo to all petroleum products marketers in country released by the PPPRA in Abuja.
The memo also circulated to petroleum depots at the weekend enjoined them to comply with the new ex- depot price of N73.37k per litre, although it does not give more details on the pump price.
Already the directive has elicited criticisms from the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), which said the price of kerosene should also be reduced as was the case with petrol because they are products of the same crude oil, the price of which has crashed in the international market.
This development means that with an increase of more than 70 per cent, marketers would inevitably, also hike the retail price of the product after adding the associated charges.
It also shows that whether it is at NNPC outlets or at private filling stations, Nigerians would have to pay more for kerosene.
Reacting to the directive, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said the new price template for kerosene announced at the weekend by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Authority (PPPRA) would go along way to alleviate the suffering of the Nigerian people who have paid so much for the product over the years.
The National President of the IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said, the new price was commendable and that marketers will comply immediately.
“We shall study the template and make our position known before the end of the week, but I must state here that government has reasoned that even when it was placed at N50 per litre end users actually buy it at N120 to N130 per litre.
“What is our concern now if for government to redouble its efforts and ensure the product is made available to marketers.”