Nigerians now pay N1.23 extra on every litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol as administrative charge.
The admin charge was N0.10 per litre before the hike. Producers of petroleum products, particularly lubricants, who gave this hint in petition to the Vice Presi-dent, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, exclusively sighted by New Telegraph at the weekend, accused the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) of causing indirect hike in prices of petrol and other products across the country.
The PPPRA, checks showed, has begun implementation of this over 1,100 per cent hike in administrative charges on products, a move that made it rake in about N1.845 billion from buyers of petrol in just one month. The downstream subsector has been deregulated, but Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) declared that on every litre of petrol consumed in Nigeria, consumers are still charged N1.23 as administrative charge for PPPRA.
This, which amounts to double taxation, according to LUPAN, also affects base oil. Nigeria, latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) shows, consumes about 50 million litres daily, a payment of N1.23 as administrative charge per litre translates to N61.50 million daily and N1.8 billion in 30 days.
“It is with profound consternation, that we, the LUPAN, are constrained to express our distress and consequent disapproval of the propensity of PPPRA to arbitrarily inflate its unwarranted charges from 10 kobo to N1.23 per litre of base oil imported, and insist on the registration of operators already licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to import base oil, despite being shown a genuine DPR license,” the producers said in the petition.
“Over time, the association had been besieged by complaints from operators of being tasked with the payment of dues, charges, levies and/or compelled to register with agencies irrelevant to their operations or the sector as a whole; operators, on pain of having their consignments confiscated, find themselves acceding to their demands, and further find themselves inundated by a deluge of paperwork, draconian directives, bureaucratic protocols, all culminating in the delayed release of consignments, accrual of unwarranted demurrage, other ancillary expenses and the eventual hike in price of blended lubricants.
“…That the administrative and bureaucratic bottlenecks through which importers of base oils/manufacturers of lubricants are made to manoeuvre as well as the series of certifications, authorisations and clearances with their attendant levies and charges are potently detrimental to the business as they are, in most cases, time consuming, increase the expenses and other ancillary costs connected to receiving the product and significantly inflates the market cost of indigenously produced lubricants, making it less attractive than its imported substandard counterpart,” the petition signed by Executive Secretary, LUPAN, Emeka Obidike, read further.
Spokesperson for the PPPRA, Kimchi Apollo, could not be reached for comments as at the time of this report. He neither picked calls to his phone nor responded to a text message seeking clarifications on the allegation.
Obidike, however, said that the situation created by the administrative charge had caused “legalized businesses to be constantly picketed, threatened with the shutting down/sealing of their plants, confiscation, seizure and destruction of products purchased with bank loans.”
“That the PPPRA, in demanding the said charges, is acting ultra vires as a regulatory agency and has, to all intent and purpose, unilaterally conferred upon themselves the functions of a revenue collection agency, charging N1.23 on all petroleum products used in the country, to wit, PMS, AGO, DPK, Base Oil, Bitumen, LPG, etc., at the expense of the sector,” he said.