The Federal Government has increased the official pump price of premium motor spirit (fuel) to N185 per litre on Thursday, according to media reports.
It was learnt that the Federal Government sent a directive to all marketers, including the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), informing them to adjust the pump price accordingly.
Oil and gas analysts argued that the official price increase could lead to further un-uniform prices across the country.
They said that retail stations that are already selling at N200 and above per litre, will not revert to N185 per litre.
According to them, filling stations may only see this official price increase as an opportunity to further increase their pump prices.
This will happen more in rural areas where filling stations are few and the populace are largely unaware of policy changes because they lack the facilities needed to follow up on trending news. Meanwhile, poor and uneducated Nigerians are left to bear the brunt of the situation.
Many filling stations are selling fuel at N240 and above, the highest being N500 per litre to motorists. It was gathered that fuel is selling for N450 per litre in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, N300 per litre in Benin, Edo state, N350 per litre in Calabar, Cross River state, and N500 per litre in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The exception is a few filling stations that were selling at the official price. Even though the government has instructed the official price to be increased to N185 per litre, there is no respite for Nigerians who are already buying the commodity at higher prices.
As you may well know, fuel prices have been high since 2022 due to a scarcity of the commodity.
In November 2022, the Deputy National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Zarama Mustapha, explained that although NNPC depots were selling petrol at N148 per litre, private depot owners were selling at N195 to N210 per litre. And this was because private depot owners complained about the cost of transportation from the mother vessel to their private depots.
Earlier this month, the National Operations Controller at the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi, told the Cable, that marketers are getting fuel at higher costs. According to him, they are buying the product at N230 per litre and N240 per litre, without transportation.