The Petroleum Product Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria has urged the government to develop relevant policies that can cushion the developments in global petroleum industry, stating that the price of petrol would continue to increase if urgent steps are not taking to mitigate the impact of crude oil price increase on the domestic market.
The President of PETROAN, Billis Gillis-Harry, said this during a press briefing on Tuesday.
He explained said that the price of petrol in Nigeria may increase to as high as N200 per litre given the monthly increase of depot price of the product.
The pump price of petrol is currently at N162 per liter. Recall, there had been increases in the pump prices of petrol since June 2020, as the price rose from N121.50 to N123.50 per litre in June, to N140.80-N143.80 in July, N148-N150 in August, N158-N162 in September and N163-N170 in November.
The pump price of petrol has however remained unchanged since November 2020, despite the continued rise in global crude oil price.
Brent crude, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, has risen by more than 18 per cent since December 31, 2020, when it closed at $51.22 per barrel, reaching $63.12 per barrel as at Tuesday.
The continued increase in oil prices follows the commitment to cut down production by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies as demand shrink.
OPEC and its Russia-led allies, a group called OPEC+, announced last week that there was ‘high compliance’ among member states with agreements to limit supply to prop up prices.
He said, “As far as pricing of petroleum product is concerned, we know that because of certain exigencies that are happening in the market, prices of petroleum product will continue to increase.
“There is no doubt about that. Let the government start to work together on how to bring in economic dynamics that should be able to cushion such shock in the system.”
Speaking further, Gillis-Harry said that providing functional refineries in the country is critical to stabilizing the prices of the product, adding that the association is willing to partner with the Federal Government in establishing modular refineries.
He said, “The cost of fixing the refineries today from what we are told is running into about $1.8bn or thereabouts. Revamping the four refineries will cost Nigeria too much money.
“PETROAN can come together and partner with the Federal Government in ensuring that we have established modular refineries that can do at least up to fifteen thousand barrels per day. That should be able to guarantee our domestic consumption per day.”
Gillis-Harry also, urged the government to deepen its commitment to deregulating the oil sector.