Unless the federal government steps in to arrest the slide, oil marketers say they can no longer sustain the distribution of petrol and other products nationwide as the price of diesel used to power their trucks now sells for N1,100/litre in many jurisdictions.
The oil marketers, on the platform of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers’ Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), raised the alarm in a statement on Tuesday.
According to the union’s president, Mr Benneth Korie, diesel has witnessed incessant hike in prices in various depots in recent months, a development he said has been worsened by marketers’ inability to secure cheap bank loans that will enable members restock and sell petrol at the current petrol price of N617/litre.
Korie lamented that the rapidly rising diesel price was evidently causing hardships in haulage transportation and commuting alike.
He, therefore, called on the Government to intervene before the horror kills the sector and derails the anticipated growth.
The NOGASA President assured that finding lasting solutions to the incessant hike in diesel price will be a major issue that will be addressed by the union at its annual general meeting coming up in October.
NOGASA, he added, “is worried about the ugly development and trying to understand why prices of diesel are going as high as N950 to N1,100 per litre in the market with a view to moderating the prices and shocks in the economy”.
Experts, however, appreciate that the hike in diesel price may stem from the rise in crude oil price, which currently stands at $95 per barrel.
Another factor is the naira slump, which is inching towards N1,000/$1 in the parallel exchange rate market.
Korie advised that the Nigeria refineries should be given emergency attention by the government to ensure rising energy cost does not murder the economy.
“We will continue to deliver on our mandate as we make progress in the oil and Gas Industry.
“We advise that suppliers should go about their respective businesses until proper resolution will be taken at the NEC meeting”, Korie stated.