More Woes As Fuel Price Jacks Up In Nigeria

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting

AMID acute economic hardship, occasioned by continued decline of the naira and growing inflation in Nigeria, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, has risen.

As it was on May 30, Nigerians woke up on Tuesday to realise that the price of petrol had been adjusted at fuel stations across the country, including those of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

In Lagos, the NNPC sold the product for N565 while some other stations sold higher. Prior to the increase, they sold at N484 to N488.

The product sells higher in Abuja where, at least, two NNPC stations visited had adjusted their price from N539 to N617 per litre with other stations selling higher.

PMS is selling for ₦617 in Abuja.

In Jos, the Plateau State capital, petrol is being sold at N617 on Tuesday, up from N537.

A filling station visited by Channels Television in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, sold the product at N620 per litre.

In Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, filling stations were seen selling petrol between N511 to N525 per litre. At the NNPC retail outlet in the oil-rich state, a crowd of people were jostling for the commodity.

The increase in price is the second significant jump in the price since May 29, when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced that the fuel subsidy was gone.

The price had jumped from below N200 per litre at NNPC outlets and many stations across the country to the N500 range.

Declining Naira, Rising Inflation

The fuel price jump had been followed with the free float of the naira in line with President Tinubu’s promise of harmonising various exchange rates. The naira float has seen the currency plunge from below N500 per dollar on the official exchange windows to a record low of above N800 naira.

Economists have predicted that both development will negatively affect the price of goods, a prediction that has been borne out by the latest inflation figures released by the country’s bureau of statistics.

On Monday, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 22.79% in June from the 22.41% recorded in May 2023.

Marketers begin fuel import

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has said that oil marketers have commenced the importation of petrol.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, made the revelation on Monday during a stakeholder engagement in Lagos.

“On May 29, Mr President mentioned that subsidy is gone. We encouraged all the marketing companies who are interested in importing to come forward for licence to import,” he said.

Of the 56 oil marketing companies that applied for and obtained licences, 10 indicated the ability to import in the third quarter of 2023, while three had “landed cargo”, the CEO said.

Ahmed listed the three companies currently importing the product to include, A.Y. Ashafa, Prudent Energy, and Emadeb, adding that others would import between August and September.

He added, “We have now about 56 companies that applied for and obtained licence to import Premium Motor Spirit. Out of those, about 10 indicated their ability to import in the third quarter (July, August and September).

“Out of those 10, three of them already have landed cargoes – Prudent Energy, A.Y. Ashafa and Emadeb. Others are already indicating their interest to import in August and September. We called for this meeting to encourage them to import so that they can displace, in a way, NNPC’s dominance in the market.”

This development is coming seven weeks after President Bola Tinubu’s May 29 inaugural address, during which he declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.

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