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July 9, 2024

Real price of petrol between N1500-N1950 but Nigerians can’t afford it  — Retailers

Marketers remain upbeat as petrol scarcity enters third week 

By Miftaudeen Raji

The Petroleum Retail Owners Association of Nigeria (PROAN) said true open market price for petroleum is between N1500- N1950, but Nigerians will not be able to afford it.

The President of the association, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry disclosed this in an interview with Arise Television on Tuesday.

Gillis-Harry warned against pegging Nigeria’s petroleum prices to the international market, stating, “If you land your product (fuel) within the range of N1500-N1950, obviously Nigerians can’t afford to buy that. So there’s no need to even try.”

He pointed out that the average global price of a litre of fuel is about a dollar and 30 cents, which is above N1500 per litre at an exchange rate of N1500 to a dollar.

Gillis-Harry, however, emphasised that “in reality, a litre of fuel in Nigeria should not sell at that price,” considering the country’s status as an oil and gas producer.

Despite Nigeria’s natural resources, Harry noted that “we are subjected to international trading metrics.”

He explained, “When you import, you must sell at a price that will be able to give you profit; otherwise, you cannot restock or reimport.”

Harry also criticised the non-functional state of Nigeria’s refineries. “We’ve been urging the government, and up until now, none of the refineries is turning out even one litre of petrol,” he said. “Those are the challenges we should focus on.”

Regarding the current petroleum prices, Harry remarked, “We suffer the most as retail outlet owners because if Nigerians don’t have the buying power, our stock will stay with us, and our banks don’t have any charitable mind.”

Speaking on the fuel scarcity, he called for a more transparent distribution process for petroleum.

“One thing we keep advocating is that we must make our decision based on data analysis, which to a large extent will help us know who has what,” Harry said.

He also emphasised the importance of law enforcement in ensuring compliance at retail outlets.

“Nigerians are very easy to obey laws because once they see examples of those who made the laws do it, they’re ready to follow through.”