Fuel marketers increased the pump price of petrol in Abuja on Monday, with several stations selling the product above the government-regulated price of N165 a litre.
The development comes as residents continue to face shortages that began in 2021. While the government says it has enough supplies to go round, marketers say several factors have made it difficult to sell at the approved rate.
The president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okoronkwo, told PREMIUM TIMES while his members were not selling at a loss, their margin had fallen significantly. He blamed high cost of logistics and the war in Ukraine, although the crisis predates the conflict.
Last week, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said despite payment of extra freight claims to marketers, they were asking for more. He said the situation in Abuja continued because marketers were closely monitored to ensure they maintain the approved rate, unlike elsewhere where they can sell at higher prices.
A PREMIUM TIMES correspondent who visited petrol stations on Monday in Abuja found that some filling stations in the Lugbe and Wuse areas of the city had started selling to buyers at prices as high as N190.
At Danmarna Petrol Limited, Police Sign Board junction, Lugbe, and Eyis Global Ltd, Opp Dunamis Church, Airport Road, Lugbe, the product was sold for N185 per litre.
An attendant at Danmarna Petrol Ltd who did not give his name told PREMIUM TIMES that the price was increased last Friday.
An attendant at Eyis Global Ltd said most petroleum stations in the city are now selling the product for N185 per litre.
“As you can see, we are selling this for N185. Just go around Abuja and you will find out that many stations have also increased their pump price,” the attendant said.
At Shema Petroleum along Airport Road, Lugbe, the product was sold for N190 per litre.
A motorist, Ojo Adejuwo, who on Sunday bought petrol for N190 a litre at Shema, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was happy to get the product nonetheless.
“Yesterday, I drove down to Shema Petroleum station and I bought it for N190. Even though I bought the product at N190, I was still happy because I did not have to waste time in queue,” Mr Adejuwo said.
Kimchi Apollo, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), said he was not aware of the increased rates.
“I’m not aware of that. I bought fuel yesterday for N165. But with this information, I will escalate it to the office on Wednesday.
“Tomorrow at the office, I will find out what is going on,” he said.