Nigerians have been asked to brace up for another hike in pump prices of petrol, due to the lingering scarcity of foreign exchange to finance the importation of the product.
According to the oil marketers, the United States dollar hit an all-time high last week, as it exchanged for N400 at the parallel market.
Punch quoted oil marketers as saying that despite the competition in the business, they were battling hard to retain the price of the Premium Motor Spirit within the approved N133.28 per litre range.
He added, “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.”
Another member of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria was quoted as saying that the ex-depot price of the PMS had remained at N133.28 per litre because the marketers were doing their best to manage the situation.
“However, most depots are still managing the situation and are selling at the recommended price of N133.28 per litre to filling stations. It is when it goes above this price that you will notice the eventual increase in the pump prices of the PMS. So, if the trend of forex unavailability continues, then the situation may go out of the control of the marketers.”