Nigerian oil marketers have identified why many petrol stations are currently closed across states.
Naija News had reported earlier that motorists and residents were seen forming long queues in major parts of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to buy Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as Petrol.
It was unclear before now why the sudden pileup in some filling stations while others are seen closed.
A report has now revealed that about 75 per cent of filling stations across the country are currently out of business due to their inability to purchase the diesel required to power their tankers and transport Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) to their various outlets.
Some dealers under the aegis of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association who addressed journalists in Abuja earlier said the recent surge in the price of diesel was the reason why petrol scarcity had resurfaced in many parts of the country including Abuja.
The marketers expressed worries that the price of diesel may eventually increase to N1,500/litre in the next two weeks if certain measures are not taken.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the marketers, the National President, NOGASA, Bennett Korie, said one major step the government can take to address the issue is to raise the pump price of petrol a little in order to reduce the huge foreign exchange used in PMS imports.
This according to him would systematically free up some forex for diesel imports. A development he claimed would impact positively on the rising cost of diesel, stressing that the product was currently sold at N850/litre.
He said, “If you go round now you will see that about 75 per cent of filling stations in Nigeria have gone out of business. There is no diesel to take fuel to their stations. All of them are going down.
“And it is not that the fuel is not there, but the cost of bringing it to the stations is too high. We know that the crisis between Ukraine and Russia has contributed badly, but the government has to do something fast, otherwise, we are going to buy diesel in the next two weeks at N1000 to N1500/litre.”
Korie said Nigerians may not be happy to hear the suggestion but that it is the only solution to the current challenges being faced in the oil sector.
“They should increase the price of fuel a little so that the savings will enable the Central Bank of Nigeria to have enough foreign exchange,” he stressed.
When pressed by the journalists, Korie said: “You and I know that we import everything now in Nigeria. Diesel is an imported product and it is fully deregulated. So the importers are not getting dollars at the official CBN rate to import diesel. Everybody is going to the black market to get dollars to import their products and so you expect the price of diesel to be high.”
Korie insists that if the government could bring down the rate at which it spends foreign exchange on PMS imports, it will help other businessmen who import diesel to bring in products at low prices.