Oil marketers have projected that the pump price of petrol could rise above N700 per litre in Northern Nigeria starting from July as soon as independent marketers started importing products.
The PUNCH quoted the National Controller Operations, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mike Osatuyi on Wednesday that prices could rise to above N700 in the north once independent marketers start importing products from July.
According to the report, while those living in the northern states could pay as much as N700 and above for one litre of petrol, those outside Lagos should expect to pay around N610, as residents in Lagos would pay about N600 per litre.
“What I am seeing is around N600 and above, depending on the exchange rate, the current crude price at the international market and the landing cost. Those in Lagos will pay around N600, those outside Lagos around N600 plus, while those in the north would be paying anything from N700 and above,” he said.Others | Punch
The downstream sector currently awaits fresh petroleum products as the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority continues to licence operators willing to get involved in the importation business.
The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Olufemi Adewole, told The PUNCH on Tuesday that the NMDPRA was currently licensing more importers.
He said arrangements were on full speed for fresh products from July, adding that prices of products would depend on market fundamentals.
“There are currently products in the country and we are loading at a government price of N496.50 per litre. But because of the new forex policy of the central bank, the naira has shot up to around N765/$1. Until new products start coming in, we won’t know the exact extent to which the new policy would affect our business,” he said.
Oyebanji also hinted that depot owners are now resorting to both local and foreign loans to finance importation.
“It’s not like we are just getting importation licenses. We have been licensed but we stopped importing because it was no longer profitable.
“Now, everybody is trying to see what we can do. Some people will raise money and borrow from abroad, while others will borrow from local banks. It’s not just three companies that would be importing; many companies are currently running around to start bringing in products. But we won’t be shouting about it on the pages of newspapers,” he said.
The development comes on the heels of a report by Reuters that since Nigeria scrapped fuel subsidy, black market fuel vendors and commercial drivers in Cameroon, Benin and Togo had seen their businesses collapse due to low supplies and high prices.
“In Cotonou, the commercial capital of Benin which is about 60km from Nigeria, queues have been building up at official petrol stations and some have been unable to meet the sudden surge in demand, especially from ‘zemidjan’, the local word for motorcycle-taxis.
“Before, we were selling about 2,000 litres per day, but now we’re selling up to 7,000 litres per day,” said a worker at the JNP fuel station who gave his first name, Janvier. He had just turned away four customers because supplies had run out.