The price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol increased year-on-year, YoY, by 226.75 per cent to N626.21 per litre in September 2023, from N191.65 per litre, recorded in the corresponding period of 2022.
This is even as fuel price continues to rise in many states, due to the inability of oil marketers to import, many months after deregulation of Nigeria’s downstream sector.
However, in its latest report – Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch for September 2023 – obtained by Energy Vanguard, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, indicated that Taraba State topped the price chart at N665.70 per litre, overshooting the post-subsidy adjusted price of N600.35 per litre for that region by 9.8 per cent.
Borno State followed with N657.37 per litre while Benue State ranked third with N641.29 per litre, overshooting the post-subsidy price with 8.7 per cent and 6.4 per cent, respectively.
Price of diesel hits N967.78 per litre
Similarly, in another report – Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) Price Watch for September 2023 – NBS indicated that Kano State topped the price chart with N967.78 per litre, showing an increase of 7.9 per cent to N890.80 per litre.
Anambra State followed with N950.95 per litre while Niger State came third with N950.55 per litre, indicating an increase of 6.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.
However, Rivers, Delta and Jigawa states emerged with the lowest retail price for petrol at N602.55, N605.88 and N617.42 per litre, respectively, according to the NBS report while Bayelsa, Katsina and Rivers states emerged with the lowest retail price for diesel with N840.16, N840.55 and N840.82 per litre, respectively.
This also comes as the average retail price of Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) rose year-on-year, YoY, by 12.77 per cent to N890.80 per litre in September 2023, from N789.90 per litre in 2022.
High cost of diesel affects operations
Checks by Energy Vanguard indicated that many filling stations were still closed in Lagos and environs. Commenting on the development, the former Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Tunji Oyebanji, said: “There are many indices which may have caused this crisis. One of them is the continuous increase in the price of diesel. I can tell you that some trucks are packed up because the economies of things, that have to do with profit-making, do not add up.
“The other which seems major is lack of access to foreign exchange. One cannot compete with NNPC Limited. It has upstream investments and can get dollars at a reduced rate.
For marketers, you get to source for dollars at the black market or other foreign partners because the banks are no longer giving loans due to the foreign market realities. We have not achieved what the PIA expects of us.”
We have to find a way of bringing other players to the importing loop, otherwise, if one person imports as the NNPC is doing, then there is no competition.
We need to find a way and get out of this crisis and allow others to be involved in the importation of petroleum products and I can tell you that the major issue is still access to dollars hence we would be challenged and lose the needed development that should come along with deregulation.”
On his part, the National President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, Benneth Korie, said: “Depot owners are so terribly affected by the increasing cost of crude oil and exchange rate, to the extent that many depots are practically deserted as their owners are unable to secure bank loans to fund their business due to high-interest rates.
Banks are not willing to guarantee funds release to stakeholders as a result of the difficulty, instability and galloping rates of foreign exchange and high cost of the dollar.”
Many depots are presently dried up or out of stock, and this is no gainsaying as it is evidently verifiable.
NNPC pledges adequate supply
In its reaction, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, stated in a statement, “We assure all Nigerians that there is ample supply with sufficiency of at least 30 days. Motorists are advised to desist from panic buying as distribution will normalize over the next couple of days.”