Filling stations, especially those run by independent marketers in northern nigeria, are currently dispensing Premium Motor Spirit (commonly known as petrol) at prices exceeding the official bands approved by the Federal Government.
Some filling stations in the northern regions have been reported selling PMS at rates as high as N685 per liter.
In July, the price of petrol was increased from the previous range of N537 to N550 per liter to N617 per liter at filling stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in Abuja and several northern states.
In Lagos and other South-West states, the PMS price was raised from around N488 to N500 per liter to approximately N580 per liter, while in the South-South region, it surged from N515 per liter to about N600 per liter.
It should be noted that when NNPCL stations adjust their prices, it is seen as a reflection of an approved increase in the PMS pump price by the Federal Government, as the NNPCL is the primary petrol importer in Nigeria.
Due to difficulties in accessing United States dollars required for fuel imports, other marketers have ceased importing petrol, leaving NNPCL as the sole importer of petrol in the country.
Mohammed Shuaibu, the Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, stated, “The price of petrol at NNPCL stations is believed to be the approved price by the government.
So once the NNPCL raises its price, every other marketer adjusts his own.”
It is important to note that President Bola Tinubu announced the end of petrol subsidies during his inaugural address on May 29, resulting in a significant increase in petrol prices from N198 per liter to over N500 per liter on May 30, 2023.
However, instead of dispensing petrol within the N580 per liter and N617 per liter bands in the South and North, respectively, some dealers have been observed selling petrol for as much as N685 per liter, especially in certain northern states like Sokoto and Taraba.
In Abuja, independent dealers have raised their pump prices to as high as N630 per liter, and black market sellers offering the commodity in jerrycans are selling it for about N850 per liter.
While NNPCL stations in Abuja, such as those in Wuse Zone 6 and Garki Area 10, are selling petrol at the standard pump price of N617 per liter, independent dealers are pricing it higher, such as Aso Energy Resources Station in Kubwa Phase 2 selling at N630 per liter and A.A Rano filling station at Jabi Garage selling at N625 per liter.
In Lagos, many filling stations, including NNPCL-owned outlets, have shut down, as prices have risen to between N600 and N620 per liter in independent marketers’ retail outlets.
It is worth noting that, despite the recent price increases, petrol availability remains limited in most filling stations in various regions of Nigeria, while the cost of the commodity at independent marketers’ stations ranges from N680 to N685 per liter.