The average retail price for a litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, more than tripled in one year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The latest PMS price watch report showed that the price of petrol rose by 226.2 percent to N626.2 in September 2023 from N191.6 in the same period of last year.
“Likewise, comparing the average price value with the previous month (.i.e. August 2023), the average retail price decreased by 0.08 percent from N626.7,” the report said.
It said Taraba had the highest average price for petrol which stood at N665.6 in September, while Bornu and Benue states had N657.4 and N641.3 respectively.
Rivers (N602.6), Delta (N605.9) and Jigawa states (N617.4), recorded the lowest price.
“Lastly, on zonal profile, the North-East had the highest average retail price of N638.3, while the South-South Zone had the lowest price of N618.5,” the NBS added.
The removal of the petrol subsidy in May this year by President Bola Tinubu , tripled the petrol price to N617 from N184, causing public transportation providers such as buses, tricycles and motorcycles to raise transportation fares.
“It is getting difficult daily for Nigerians, especially with the petrol subsidy removal and other reforms that the president has done. They are good reforms but they are seriously hurting Nigerians and businesses,” Collins Osho, a civil servant and photographer, said.
Petroleum product dealers also indicated that filling stations were closing down in huge numbers on a daily basis because the industry was getting increasingly difficult to maintain.
According to them, this could lead to widespread gasoline scarcity in the coming months. It was also gathered that the cost of importing petrol into the country has risen to N720 per litre, up from N651 per litre in August of this year.
“Depot owners are so terribly affected by the increasing cost of crude oil and exchange rate, to the extent that many depots are practically deserted as their owners are unable to secure bank loans to fund their business due to high-interest rates,”Benneth Korie, the National President of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, said.
He said that the worst hit are filling stations whose owners find it difficult to secure funds to procure products for their retail outlets.
The hike in petrol price was a major contributing factor to Nigeria’s headline inflation rate which rose to 26.72 percent in September, the highest in 18 years, from 25.80 percent in August.
Petrol prices also increased the logistic cost of food products across the country.
A latest Global Hunger Index (GHI) said Nigeria is among the nine countries expected to see its hunger levels worsening throughout the year
Apart from Africa’s most populous nation, the Index, a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels highlighted Afghanistan, Haiti, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen, Burkina Faso and Mali as the other countries.