Nigerian former head of state General Abdusallam Abubakar in a handshake with the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru when he was conferred with a fellowship award by the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) University, Lapai, Niger State recently.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said that the activities of airlines conveying Muslim faithful for the yearly Lesser Hajj pilgrimage was major reason the price of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) also known as Kerosene has increased at depots and filling stations.
Speaking exclusively with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, Lagos State Chairman of IPMAN, Alhaji Alanamu Balogun said that over the years, the marketers have discovered that the movements to Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia was pushing up the price of kerosene occasioned by its scarcity.
He said that airlines were also using the kerosene as JET A1 also known as aviation to power their engines, and this has placed a lot of demand on the kerosene.
Investigations carried out by Shipping Position Daily at the depot last week also revealed that there is multimillion naira cargo of kerosene trapped at some of the depots because marketers were not willing to come forward and buy at a higher cost.
The IPMAN Chairman told our correspondent that no marketer is currently willing to invest in importing or buying kerosene from the depot because the demand for it was at its lowest ebb. He noted that the demand for kerosene has now been overshadowed by the availability of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas.
Alanamu however noted that the price is gradually dropping as the Muslim pilgrims have started returning to the country. He placed the price of kerosene at N250 per litre.
He said, “It is gradually coming down, two months ago, the price was increased, it is still very costly but it has gone down a little”
“What we have noticed is that whenever it is time for the Muslims to travel for hajj , the plane conveying them is also using what we call JET A1 which is also Kerosene, it is the same, so, at this time, it usually pushes up the price of kerosene, but now that they are coming back gradually, the price is gradually coming down”
“Before now, kerosene has been sold for N270 and N300, but now the price is N250. I am confident that before the end of this July, the price would be normalized; the kerosene is the same as the aviation fuel”
“The availability of LPG otherwise known as cooking gas has reduced the patronage of kerosene drastically, so when we bring it to the petrol stations, we don’t see people coming to buy or demand for it, this is the reason why our members don’t want to tie down their money”, he said.
Also speaking with our correspondent at Ibeto tank farm in Apapa, a source who pleaded anonymity disclosed that there has been a cargo of kerosene stuck at the tank farm without buyers coming for it.
“Kerosene has been scarce, presently we have kerosene at the depot but the price is cut-throat, it is about N240 per litre, it is even costlier than diesel, and because of the price, nobody is demanding for it, the demand has fallen, before now, women and other marketers would have been jostling over to buy the kerosene, but because of the high price, nobody is coming to buy”
“Before now, the cost of kerosene use to be cheaper than the diesel and other products, so people use to combine with diesel to create what we called ‘rice and beans’ but now, because the price of diesel is so higher than kerosene, nobody dare to touch kerosene, not even for home use”
The source also confirmed that petroleum marketers of the kerosene are now running at loss because of the price and the widespread use of cooking gas which is naturally adjudged to be cleaner and safer.
“The kerosene we have is for local consumption, the demand from the aviation and airport is no longer there because of the high cost, they must have been getting their own directly from the NNPC” he said