BY: CHARLES ABUEDE
The continued fuel scarcity in some states in Nigeria is creating more problems for Nigerians with businesses and commuters feeling the brunt of the scarcity induced price inflation.
A market check by Business A.M. found that petrol now sells at above N500 in the streets as motorists and individuals are unable to get the product from marketers.
Despite the positive rally in the crude oil price to $116 levels on Thursday, Nigeria seems not likely to take advantage of the rally to grow its external reserves, earn foreign exchange to fund its 2022 deficit as stated in the 2022 budget of over N16 trillion.
As per Fox Business, the U.S. crude was up at $113.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the price basis for international oils, moved to $115.08 per barrel in London.
Meanwhile, OPEC and its allies, including Russia, decided to maintain an increase in output by 400,000 barrels per day in March despite the price surge, ignoring calls from consumers for more crude.
However, Nigerians (motorists and individuals) alike, who could afford the exorbitant price, were seen buying the product from street hawkers in jerry cans. It was further observed that the majority of filling stations owned by independent and major marketers have not been dispensing the commodity at the retail price.
As gathered by Business A.M recently, after a tour around some stations across Lagos State, some of the fuel attendants collect N500 from vehicles while they collect between N200 and N300 extra from bike riders popularly known as Okada.
Further information gathered is that marketers are not willing to sell to buyers with jerry cans as they feel these individuals are black market sellers.
The recent event where the NNPC, alongside four oil marketers imported methanol-blended premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, into the country which has caused outrage across the country has now escalated into an artificial scarcity to rip Nigerians off.