The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) alerted the government to the rising rates its members were getting petrol products at the depots, noting that the situation may lead to nationwide scarcity if not resolved by the authorities.
The National President of the association, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry, who said that the body cannot unilaterally increase fuel prices contrary to reports that its members had pegged the pump price at N178 explained that the current situation was not sustainable.
The body urged the buying public and the Nigerian government to take note that it is now getting the product at between N158-N160, stressing that it cannot continue to sell at N162.
Earlier, there were reports that the association had increased fuel prices and had directed its members to comply appropriately, having duly informed the federal government of the decision.
But Gillis-Harry, who said the organisation has no such powers, however stated that if the problem is not resolved soon, there will be product shortages as there will be no capital to restock.
He said: “What we have done is to bring the condition of the business to the knowledge of both consumers and government that the retail outlets have been having very strenuous price pressure because we are buying products at depots at N156 to N159 and even N160, so we can’t sustain selling new products.
“We have not said we are changing our prices, what we said is that the buying public should understand that with the current reality, deregulation should be the focus of what we want to do so that the price of petroleum products can be defined by the forces of demand and supply. This is not anybody sitting down to give any price.