The Price Watch of Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has said that a combination of high petrol and diesel costs, added profiteering activities of Point of Sales [POS] operators kept energy prices high in February.

According to the group, the average retail price of Premium Motor Spirit [PMS], popularly known as petrol, rose by 54.76% Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) from N170.42 per litre in February 2022 to N263.76 per litre in February 2023, a deviation from the recently approved price of N185 per litre.

Comparing the average price with January 2023 price, the average retail price climbed 2.58%. Market reports suggest that petrol prices were much higher across major cities, especially from independent marketers, in February when prices ranged between N220 and N250 per litre and worsened as POS costs nudged by a cash scarcity hurt consumer pockets.

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While petrol price has risen despite price regulation, some analysts note that petrol price may more than double in the next few months as the government removes subsidy from the retail pump price.

The average retail price of Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) increased by 168.26% Y-o-Y from N311.98 per litre recorded in February 2022 to a higher cost of N836.91 per litre in February 2023. On a month-on-month basis, the diesel engine fuel increased by 0.98% from N828.82 per litre in January to an average of N836.91 in February 2023. Analysts reckon that the higher diesel price could be attributed to exchange rate shortages, port-related dollar charges, and the high cost of vessel leasing.

By Ken Okoye

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