LAGOS – Average pump price of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, across the country in the month of November was N115.35 per litre, up from N93.5 recorded in the preceding month of October.
Interim reports have pointed to further rise this month with the lingering fuel scarcity in most parts of the country.
This is contained in the monthly PMS Price Watch of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, released yesterday. The survey does not cover black market.
Surprisingly, the report shows that highest pump prices were recorded in the oil producing Niger Delta states while lowest pump prices were recorded in the North and South western states.
In a state-by-state report, average pump prices was highest in Akwa Ibom State which recorded N187.5 per litre followed by Abia at N146.6, Cross River at N140.4 and Rivers at N139.6 per liter.
The lowest average pump price was recorded in Bauchi State at N91.3 per litre followed by Katsina and Ogun States at N91.5 each.
On the country-wide trend, the current report shows that the average pump price at N115.35 has risen by 23.4 per cent month-on-month, the highest rate so far this year, compared to 13.66 per cent recorded during the petrol scarcity of the last days of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.
The current fuel scarcity started during November under review following inability of petroleum marketers to continue supply due to huge outstanding subsidy payment the Federal Government was owing them and also lack of clarity of policy on subsidy payments.
Over N500 billion outstanding subsidy claims are still hanging as at last weekend even after the approval of N413 billion payment by the government last week.
Their concerns appeared worsened by the content of the 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Plan, MTEP, approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, last week which shows that subsidy funding was not covered adequately. The 2016 budget would be extracted from the approved MTEP.
Consequently, petrol stations and dealers have been very cautious in the trade and supply at subsidized rate of N87 per litre.
During the month of November, following the fuel crisis situation witnessed in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stated that it distributed 25.539 million litres of PMS to petrol stations across the country but the impact was not felt.
Following the crisis which the government has largely blamed on unscrupulous marketers who engage in hoarding of the products as well as panic buying by motorists, security agencies were deployed to enforce sanity in most petrol stations, while forcing marketers to sell products at official pump price otherwise the petrol stations were shut down.
But despite the efforts by security officials, black marketers continued to thrive as there were seen selling the products in plastic containers on major roads and streets in Nigeria at prices ranging from N150 to N200 per liter. Also many petrol stations still violate the official pump price selling far above the official rate.
Oil marketers had promised to support measures put in place by the Federal Government to end the fuel crisis.
The marketers, at the end of a strategy session convened by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu in November to address the fuel situation, pledged to end the fuel queues as soon as possible.
Oil marketers in attendance at the meeting included members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA and the Jetty and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria, JEPTFON.
Speaking on behalf of MOMAN, Femi Olawore, Secretary-General of the Association was emphatic that the majors are willing and ready to work with the Petroleum Ministry and the NNPC to restore normalcy to the fuel situation.
However, one month after this meeting the situation is far from resolutions as scarcity persists across the country while pump prices were still over 80 per cent above the official rate.