Oil marketers have said that with the current realities in the global crude oil markets, the price of Premium Motor Spirit, (petrol) in Nigeria could hit between N185 and N200 per litre, unless the government wants to subsidise the product.
Top officials of two major marketers’ associations, who spoke with newsmen at the weekend, said the continued increase in oil prices had indirectly brought back petrol subsidy.
According to the marketers, the pump price of petrol should be between N185 and N200 per litre. The product is currently sold at between N160 and N165 per litre at many filling stations in Lagos.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, (MOMAN), Clement Isong, said the demand for petrol had increased significantly in the country, adding that the security of supply had been threatened, adding that smuggling might have resumed because of the significantly different prices across the borders, which were recently opened.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), which has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years, is still being relied upon by marketers for the supply of the product despite the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.
Private oil marketing companies have continued to lament that their inability to access foreign exchange at the official rates has hampered efforts to resume petrol importation.
According to Isong, “We need to completely restructure our entire supply chain; we need to reach a place where, if deregulation takes effect, refining will resume in Nigeria. We need to find a way of making sure that Nigerians benefit from deregulation; that, I believe, is what the discussion must be”.