Oil marketers have said that if the dollar continues to trade at N910 to N950 at the parallel market, the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would rise to between N680/litre and N720/litre in the coming weeks. They also hinted that dealers seeking to import PMS were being forced to put the plans on hold due to the scarcity of foreign exchange to import the commodity.
The warning came barely one week after the local currency crossed the N900/dollar ceiling, with the naira selling at over 945/dollar at the parallel market on Friday.
Oil dealers said the CBN Importers and Exporters official window for foreign exchange, which boast of a lower exchange rate of about $740/litre, had remained illiquid and unable to provide the $25m to $30m required for the importation of PMS by dealers. This, they said, had led to the suspension of petrol importation by dealers who were initially eager to import the commodity. Some senior officials of major oil dealers said PMS price hike was imminent unless the local currency appreciates in the coming weeks.
Leaders of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria of Nigeria, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, and Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria said there was a need for the Federal Government to intervene to address the crisis.
The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Ukadike, in an interview with Punch, explained that the price of petrol was now driven by the fluctuations in forex, hence Nigerians should expect a hike soon.
Asked whether oil marketers were considering an increase in petrol price, he replied, “Once there is a slack in the naira against the dollar, there is going to be an effect. The demand and supply of forex is a key factor. We should also understand that it is not only petroleum products that use forex.
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