Consumers of the Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been paying through the nose to buy the product because of scarcity. They now pay between N350 and N450 per litre from retailers in their neighborhoods. The product, which the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) pegs officially at N87
per litre, following its deregulation because it is used by low class consumers, was not available in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, and other retail outlets in Abuja throughout the weekend and yesterday.
Asked why the product was scarce, Independent Petroleum Marketing Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Dankigari, blamed the situation on foreign exchange (forex) policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Government’s refusal to deregulate the product. “The issue is that it is not available. Secondly, most of our refineries are not loading it now. Even if they load will be selling it at exorbitant rate to marketers,” he explained in a telephone conversation with The Nation yesterday. Asked why members of his association were not importing kerosene, he said they cannot import because of forex. “Besides, Kerosene is not fully deregulated. It is not like AGO. The DPK and PMS are not fully deregulated,” he said.
NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, who responded to a ext message on the issue said: “ The corporation has been importing DPK (kerosene), supplementing this with local production. It operates in the downstream like other players.” Speaking with our Abuja correspondent on phone, he said if all other marketers that have been authorised to bring in kerosene there would not have been scarcity of the product. He however noted that it was not the responsibility of the corporation to find out why the marketers were not importing the product since it is the sole responsibility of the regulator of the industry.
He said: “NNPC as I said is a player in the downstream. We also have our retail outlets for the generic purpose of the nation. We sell to consumers and we have a conglomeration of players. “We have Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and others. But the issue is that are they bringing in products like NNPC? If they have all been bringing in products, there wouldn’t be this kind of problem because the NNPC is also set up as a commercial entity.
“And it is not the responsibility of NNPC to know if A is bringing in or B is not bringing in. NNPC is not a regulator, it is the work of the regulatory agency to find out why these guys are not bringing in products.” The spokesman of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Saidu Mohammed, said he was yet to get report on the issue from field. He asked our correspondent to allow him find out and respond but till press time he did not respond.
Source: The Nation