Shipment company

NNPC starts transshipment fees, depot owners raise fuel price

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has introduced a ship-to-ship coordination fee of N500,000 for each transshipment operation for Premium Motor Spirit, commonly known as gasoline, involving NNPC maritime logistics.

This charge on any transshipment operation was found on Monday to be part of measures taken by NNPC to fully recover its operational costs since the recently passed Petroleum Industry Act made the state oil company a limited liability company. .

NNPC’s campaign to recover costs through the new transshipment fee, it has been learned, has prompted depot owners to raise the ex-depot price of gasoline, a development that has forced traders increase the PMS price above the approved cost of N142-N145/litre.

The PUNCH exclusively reported on Monday that the cost of petrol could reach or exceed N180/litre at most petrol stations in the coming weeks if nothing is done about the increase in its ex-depot price by the deposit owners. The approved pump price of petrol is currently N162-N165/litre.

Most private depot owners have recently increased the ex depot price of petrol from the approved price of N142-N145/litre to between N162 and N170/litre.

This has forced many independent trader-owned petrol stations to dispense petrol above the approved price as they said the cost of the product will soon exceed N180/litre at most retail outlets , except at mega stations and those owned by major merchants.

Independent petroleum traders in Nigeria operate around 90% of the country’s petrol stations.

Documents seen by our correspondent in Abuja on Monday showed that the increase in the ex-depot price of petrol was due to the fact that the NNPC had just introduced the ship-to-ship coordination charge for each transhipment operation.

In a letter from NNPC, reference NNPC/ML/STS01, dated February 18, 2022 and addressed to all traders, the national oil company explained that the charge would cover labor, logistics, among others.

The letter, titled “Payment of STS Coordination Fee”, and signed by OIO Ajilo, for NNPC Group General Manager, Shipping, reads in part: “Please note that NNPC management has directed that to Effective 10 February 2022, the sum of N500,000 will be charged for STS coordination fee for each transshipment operation involving NNPC Marine Logistics.

“This amount is intended to cover the labor and logistics required to coordinate and produce cargo documents for the transshipment operation.

“A Remita payment request will be generated by our accounts section for each operation to make the necessary payment when tendering the vessel. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and understanding.

In another document entitled “Commencement of STS Coordination Charge”, which was from the General Manager, Marine Logistics, to the traders, with reference GGM/ML/04, and dated February 8, 2022, the national oil company explained the duties of Marine Logistics.

He said his duties were to coordinate ship-to-ship transshipment activities for the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, NNPC Retail Limited and third-party traders, as well as to facilitate the processing of clearances for shuttles and the preparation of the bill of lading to the end. of OHS.

Marine Logistics, PPMC and NNPC Retail Limited are subsidiaries of the national oil company.

The document, which was signed by Asuquo Inuikim, reads in part: “Please be reminded that customers (PPMC, NNPC Retail and third party distributors) who lease ML (Marine Logistics) vessels for STS and offloading operations are charged an STS fee which is included in the vessel freight, however, third party marketers who do not hire vessels from Marine Logistics are serviced free of charge.

Commenting on the development, a depot owner told our correspondent that the NNPC is currently seeking to recoup all of its costs despite the sector not having been fully deregulated.

The development, he pointed out, has led to the recent rise in the ex-depot price of gasoline.

“When everyone is accusing traders of raising the ex-deposit price, who will protect and defend traders against costs like above?” said the trader, who pleaded not to be named to avoid being victim.

The source added, “The business units of NNPC sang songs like ‘since we are now a limited liability entity, all costs should be fully recovered’.

“And with that, several costs such as the above have been imposed on marketers since the signing of the PIA 2021, but the industry is not fully deregulated to allow marketers to recoup these costs imposed on marketers. marketing.”

Another depot owner explained that there are additional costs borne by traders, such as the unofficial dollar exchange rate by the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

The source said, “These costs are borne by traders with the unofficial dollar exchange rates imposed by the NPA and NIMASA, which are fees on traders’ ships, as both insist on being paid in foreign currencies, which are never available at the official central. Bank of Nigeria rate, but sourced from the parallel market.

As to whether the deposit owners had raised these concerns with the relevant authorities in the oil sector, the source replied: “The marketers have taken them to the highest level.

“The presidency gave instructions for the cancellation of dollar bills but the NPA and NIMASA refused to comply. These are just a few of the reasons why some depots sell above official rates. They just recover their costs, just like the NNPC Limited!”

The source added: “Imagine issuing BL (Bill of Lading) costs N500,000! They do not deal with the approval of private vessels; they only do this for time chartered vessels with NNPC, but they charge us N500,000!

Depot owners insisted they had no choice but to recoup their costs, pointing out that the pump price of petrol would certainly increase beyond the approved price of N165/litre at petrol stations if the current situation persists.

NNPC spokesman Garba-Deen Muhammad said he was unaware of the increase in the ex-depot price of petrol, while his counterpart from the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Authority intermediary and downstream, Kimchi Apollo, said independent traders should file a formal complaint with the NMDPRA.

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