There are strong indications that the prices of kerosene and diesel may further go up following acute dearth of the product in the country.
The prices of these two products have already skyrocketed as kerosene is sold between N180 and N200, while diesel is sold between N150 and N187 depending on the retail outlet.
National Daily gathered from a cross section of marketers that spoke on the issue, there was a huge shortfall in the importation of these products due to scarcity of forex, unpaid debts by the Federal Government and other government harsh policies.
National Daily also gathered that the forex liberalization policy is a big challenge to the marketers, more especially, the independent marketers as it is now on bidding and the highest bidder gets the available forex.
Also, it was gathered that more foreign banks have cancelled all credit lines issued to marketers because of unpaid debts owed them. “Forex has doubled from N197 to N287 a dollar and more depending on the selling point. What this means is that, for a debt of N4million at N197 to a dollar, we are expected to pay about N83milion of the current price regime. How do we get such money to import if government does not pay its outstanding debt?” Marketer disclosed.
Corroborating the marketers, National chairman, Surface Tankers Kerosene Peddlers, SUTAKEP, Benjamin Rotimi, lamented the unavailability of kerosene across the country. According to him, “Kerosene is very scarce and it is not available. As we are aware, when it becomes scarce, its price is bound to go up. That is the state we are in now.”
The independent depot owners in Lagos are not getting supplies. The pressure is on Warri refinery and if enough is refined, there will be more to distribute and the price will be at equilibrium.
“And if NNPC depots are not getting kerosene, we are then left at the mercy of private depot owners with crazy price regime. The way out of this mess is for the Federal government to adopt its strategy used on PMS, where products are distributed to Mosimi, Ibadan. If such is also used for kerosene, we will avert these trauma currently bedeviling kerosene price,” Comrade Rotimi said.