Fuel Price ‘Nigerians should prepare for increase,’ Marketers say

The price of fuel was increased to N145 from N86 on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 after the Federal Government scrapped the subsidy regime.

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Motorists queue to buy petrol at a fuel station in Ahaoda in Nigeria's oil state in the Delta region, December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye/File Photo play Motorists queue to buy petrol at a fuel station in Ahaoda in Nigeria's oil state in the Delta region, December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye/File Photo
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Oil marketers in Nigeria have warned that an increase in the price of fuel is imminent due to the scarcity of foreign exchange to finance the importation of the product into the country.

The naira is currently selling at N400 to the dollar after reaching unprecedented levels last week.

“The truth is that Nigerians just have to brace for higher PMS price; there are no two ways about it. The government cannot fund this market; the money is not just there,” one oil marketer told Punch.

“Even if the government wishes to assist, it does not have the wherewithal to do. So, Nigerians should brace for higher rates. We are all aware that the price of crude has been falling in the international market and it is the dollar the government gets from crude sale that it uses to solve forex problems. So, there’s no fast rule or solution to it than for all of us, both users and marketers, to just prepare for a price hike.

“For marketers, they should know that the days of higher profits are gone. Before now, if you want to import petrol, you’ll have to wait for months and possibly bribe some people to get an import licence.

“But those days are gone; nowadays, every interested dealer can get the licence and this has created room for competition, which is why you still get the product at around N140 to N145 per litre. We only hope that this will continue as the dollar availability improves,” he added.

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The price of fuel was increased to N145 from N86 on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 after the Federal Government scrapped the subsidy regime.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said at the time that pegging petrol at N145 was the best solution to the fuel crisis being experienced in the country.

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