The fall of the naira against the United States dollar, coupled with the recent rise in global crude oil prices, is making Nigerians apprehensive of a possible hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and other oil marketers have not announced any increase in petrol price, they confirmed that the scarcity of foreign exchange and crude oil price rise were key factors that determined PMS price.
Petrol price moved up from N198/litre in May to over N500/litre in June after President Bola Tinubu removed subsidy on PMS.
The cost jumped again to over N600/litre in July, and there were concerns that it might rise further in August, going by the crash of the naira against the dollar.
The naira dropped below N900 against the dollar on Thursday at the parallel market. It also fell against the US dollar at the official Importers and Exporters forex window.
Also on Thursday, Brent, the global benchmark for crude oil, was traded at about $87/barrel. It traded for less than $80/barrel a few weeks ago.
Oil marketers also confirmed the possibility of another hike in petrol price this month.
The President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said, “So long as the naira is losing against the dollar, the price of petrol in our retail outlets will continue to increase.”
He called on Tinubu to make sure that Nigeria’s refineries were put back to use.
According to him, “We have requested that the President declares a state of emergency on our refineries in order to speed up their repairs.
“That is the one sure way to go, in order to be able to predict the price of petroleum products, because for now, every PMS you buy in any retail outlet is dollarised.”
Also speaking on the development, the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okonkwo, said the downstream oil sector had been fully deregulated and the cost of PMS would continue to fluctuate.