Due to the recent spike in global crude oil prices and the depreciation of the naira against the United States dollar, oil marketers have warned of the prospect of another increase in gasoline prices this month.
While the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and other oil marketers have not declared an increase in the price of gasoline, they have admitted that the rising cost of crude oil and the lack of available foreign currency were major considerations in setting the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
Billy Gillis-Harry, president of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, said, “So long as the naira is losing against the dollar, the price of gasoline in our retail outlets will continue to increase.”
He requested that Tinubu ensure the refineries in Nigeria were operational again.
As he put it, “We have suggested that the President to declare a state of emergency on our refineries in order to speed up their repairs.
Since all petroleum goods sold in stores are already dollarized, this is currently the only reliable method for estimating future petroleum product costs.
Chinedu Okonkwo, president of the Nigerian Association of Independent Petroleum Marketers, added that the price of PMS will continue to fluctuate now that the downstream oil sector was fully deregulated.
The price of gasoline may go up or down depending on whether or not there was deregulation and subsidy. However, if you’re in it for the money, others who import and sell at lower prices will eventually drive you out of business.
Oil traders also predicted that the federal government would step in to stop the soaring costs of crude oil and gasoline at the pump.
President Tinubu has committed to step in if required, according to Mike Osatuyi, national controller of operations for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), who spoke to The Punch on Thursday.