Nigerians May Experience Fuel Scarcity As Oil Marketers Battle Delay In Product Delivery

There are indications that Nigerians may soon experience fuel scarcity as marketers are currently experiencing delay in accessing the product at the depot.

There had been anxiety in recent days from Nigerians as to whether the Federal Government will increase the price of petrol due to the continued increase in global oil prices which peaked at $60.21 per barrel on Monday.

The pump price of petrol had been increasing since June last year due to the deregulation of the sector by the Federal Government.

The price of petrol rose from N121.50 to N123.50 per litre in June, then N143.80 in July, N150 in August, N158 in September and then N163 in November.

The pump price of petrol has however remained unchanged since November 2020, despite the continued rise in global crude oil price.

This had fuelled speculations that the Federal Government might soon announce a further hike in the price of petrol.

But in a chat with THE WHISTLER, the Vice National Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Maigandi said that there has not been any change in the price at which petrol is sold in Nigeria, despite the increase in price of global crude oil.

He explained that marketers are currently going through hard times in getting the product.

He said, “The product is a bit scarce currently, so we cannot really tell what to expect in terms of the pricing.

“Most of our trucks have been at the depot for some days now but we have not been able to get petrol to buy.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been the sole importer of petrol, as private marketers have continued to lament that inability to access foreign exchange at the official rates has affected their ability to import petrol.

Maigandi, however, said that increase in petrol price will be inevitable if the government sticks to its deregulation of the downstream sector.

He explained that there is no way the price would remain same or be reduced with a global crude oil price of over $60 per barrel.

“If really the government says it has deregulated the sector, then there will be increase in fuel price as the global crude is now over $60 per barrel. But we still do not know if the government is subsidising it in any way,” he added.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had said in September 2020, that the Federal Government is no longer in business of fixing the price of petrol, stating that market forces and crude oil price would determine the cost of the product following the deregulation of the sector.