There is a growing concern throughout Nigeria regarding a potential surge in the price of petrol, commonly known as PMS. This fuel is a primary source for transportation and various business activities powered by generators across the country,Daily Trust report.
The increase in petrol costs, following the removal of subsidies by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, has exacerbated the living cost crisis in Nigeria.
The average per-liter pump price in Lagos stands at N610, while it reaches N660 in Abuja and neighboring states in the North Central geopolitical zone. In North West states like Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Jigawa, petrol is being sold for up to N700 per liter.
Importers have halted their operations, with independent marketers who began importing fuel about four months ago citing unprofitability at the current landing cost. This situation has sparked fears of a potential price increase. The anticipated hike is largely driven by the escalating cost of crude oil in the international market, the devaluation of the naira against the dollar, and the high distribution costs within Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Ukadike Chinedu, stated, “So, if you consider the cost of diesel, the dollar, and other international factors, the price of petrol in Nigeria should be around N1,200/liter, but the government is subsidizing it, which, to an extent, is understandable.”
Contrary to these concerns, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, which was the sole importer of products, has stated that there is no imminent increase in petrol prices. The NNPC urges Nigerians to avoid panic buying, emphasizing the “ample availability of PMS across the country.”
As of the latest update, there are no indications that the NNPC’s assurances have alleviated apprehensions about a potential price hike. Reports suggest a clash between the NNPCL and IPMAN over the removal of the petrol subsidy.
Daily Trust, in an exclusive report published on September 21, 2023, revealed the return of the subsidy regime despite President Tinubu’s earlier statement that “subsidy is gone.” While there were initial denials within government circles, stakeholders like the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) confirmed the return of the subsidy.
PENGASSAN’s National President, Festus Osifo, asserted on October 6 that the Nigerian government had reinstated the subsidy on petrol, notwithstanding the official policy of ending the subsidy regime. In response, the NNPCL maintained that there is no subsidy and that they recover their full costs from the products they import. The situation remains unresolved, with ongoing uncertainties surrounding the petrol price.