The prices of Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO) popularly known by Nigerians as diesel and household Kerosene have skyrocketed across the country.
Diesel dealers told our field reporters that scarcity of the product may be imminent because marketers were now paying more to source the US dollar at the black market to import the product.
In Abuja, findings by our reporter showed that a litre of diesel, which has already being deregulated, currently costs between N150 and N170 depending on the retail outlet.
A manager at one of the Total stations in Abuja city centre said the station had not received diesel for a week now despite being a top seller of the product in the FCT.
“It was N150 per litre but N169 the last time we sold it,” he said.
The price of kerosene also rose dramatically as A.Y.M Shaffa, which is renowned for selling the product, has hiked the price this week from N155 to N165 per litre.
The National Treasurer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Barrister Dibu Aderibigbe, blamed the hike on two factors.
“It has to do with foreign exchange and the international oil price. The refined product is getting higher since crude oil is going up.
Marketers have to look for forex by themselves and the cost of dollar is almost N370 now,” “As far as DPK is concerned, NNPC is not distributing DPK through any other marketer but their service outlet, if there is a hike NNPC is purely responsible for that,” he said.
In Lagos, the cost of diesel currently hovers between N165 and N180 per litre, which is a slight margin from what it sold some months ago.
Some independent marketers in Ikeja, Onipanu and Lagos Island areas clearly displayed N170 per litre for diesel on their billboards.
Similarly, the price of kerosene per litre in few of the stations, like NIPCO plc is pegged at N145 per litre.
Corporate Affairs Manager of NIPCO, Lawal Taofeek, confirmed to our correspondent that the product is sold for N145 per litre in most of the company’s filling stations.
Others stations confirmed that they do not have the product in stock.
Speaking on the development, IPMAN’s Operation Controller, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, attributed the development to the deregulation of the two products by the federal government.
He explained that the development means that prices of the product would fluctuate from time to time due to variables.
A Lagos marketer, Mr. Johnson Taiwo, attributed the high cost of kerosene to the monopoly enjoyed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in importing the product into the country.
Alhaji Isa Shehu Bilbil, an independent marketer in Kano, said the hike in the prices of kerosene and diesel might not be unconnected to the fluctuation of foriegn exchange rates.
He said: “Before the recent development in the forex market, the price was stable but when the rate of dollar per naira went up, the price of the products also skyrocketed.”
Findings by our reporter in Bauchi State revealed that prices of diesel and kerosene have gone up within the last few days.
In most of the filling stations located within Bauchi metropolis, diesel is being sold at N175 while kerosene is sold at N165 per litre.
According to the Director, General Services of Shafa Petroleum, Alhaji Mohammed Hassan, one of the factors that led to the rise in the prices of the two products was scarcity.
He said that most of the loading points in Warri and other places were not loading the products enough to meet demands.
In Enugu, an Oando petrol station official told our correspondent that the price of diesel has suddenly risen to N165 from N130 per litre.
She said her station and many others in Enugu have not received supply of the product.
The manager of Conoil petrol station located at Zik Avenue by Edinburgh Road junction, Enugu, Mr. Chibuike Okorie, attributed the increase to the recent hike in petrol price which, he said, has affected the price of every other commodity in the country.
Also checks at filling stations located in Port Harcourt and other cities like Oyigbo and Eleme indicated that the price of diesel is soldhas risen to N170.