Petrol marketers have issued a distress call, urging the federal government to step in and address the alarming surge in the price of diesel to avert an impending distribution crisis.
These concerned marketers find it increasingly challenging to sustain the nationwide distribution of petrol and other products due to the exorbitant cost of diesel, which is used to fuel their transport trucks. In many areas, diesel is now selling at ₦1,100 per litre.
The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers’ Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) raised this urgent issue in a statement released on Tuesday. NOGASA’s president, Mr. Benneth Korie, highlighted the continuous and significant increases in diesel prices over recent months. He noted that this situation has been exacerbated by the marketers’ inability to secure affordable bank loans to restock and sell petrol at the current pump price of ₦617 per litre.
Korie emphasized that the steep rise in diesel prices is causing considerable hardship in both haulage transportation and daily commuting. He appealed to the government to intervene promptly to prevent the sector from collapsing and undermining anticipated economic growth.
Additionally, Korie assured that finding sustainable solutions to the relentless surge in diesel prices will be a top priority at the union’s upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) in October.
Experts suggest that the increase in diesel prices may be linked to the rising crude oil prices, which currently stand at $95 per barrel. The depreciation of the Naira, approaching ₦1,000/$1 in the parallel exchange rate market, is another contributing factor.
Korie also stressed the need for urgent attention to be given to Nigerian refineries by the government to prevent escalating energy costs from negatively impacting the economy.
As the situation unfolds, Korie advised suppliers to continue their operations while awaiting further resolutions to be discussed at the NEC meeting.