The cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would rise to between N680/litre and N720/litre in the coming weeks should the dollar continue to trade from N910 to N950 at the parallel market.
According to Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) the CBN Importers and Exporters official window for foreign exchange, which boast of a lower exchange rate of about $740/litre, had remained illiquid and unable to provide the $25m to $30m required for the importation of PMS by dealers.
The group said as a result, most importers of the product has suspended their operation because of the difficulty in recouping their investment due to the depreciation of the naira.
The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, explained that the price of petrol was now driven by the fluctuations in forex, hence Nigerians should expect a hike soon.
Asked whether oil marketers were considering an increase in petrol price, he replied, “Once there is a slack in the naira against the dollar, there is going to be an effect. The demand and supply of forex is a key factor. We should also understand that it is not only petroleum products that use forex.
“Other manufacturers who import one thing or the other are also searching for dollars. So, the surge for dollars has continued to increase. So now that the dollar is hitting N910 to N940, and approaching N1,000, you should expect to buy PMS at the rate of N750/litre.
“It is simple mathematics, once the dollar is going up, have it in mind that the prices of petroleum products would definitely increase because the products are dollar-driven.”
On when Nigerians would start seeing the price increase, he said, “NNPC is like the sole distributor of petroleum products now, so once you see a change in the price of petrol at their outlets, then other marketers will implement it.”
The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Clement Isong, alluded to the fact the dealers were not importing petrol despite the fact that the government recently issued licences to about six marketers to bring in products.
Asked to speak on the import of PMS by other marketers and whether they were sourcing forex from the I&E window or the parallel market, Isong replied, “The I&E window is illiquid. There’s no money there.
“Many things are put into consideration by dealers before coming up with their selling prices. There’s no one person who sets or controls the price. Nobody is controlling the price of PMS. Right now, NNPC, however, will continue to control the flow of the price. But after a while, that will stop,” Isong explained.
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