By Adewale Sanyaolu

The price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol has risen above the Federal Government’s projected N410 per litre in a post fuel subsidy regime to N510 per litre.

This was even as commuters have resorted to keeping vigil at filling station in a bid to get the product.

Findings by Daily Sun revealed that commuters in desperate serach of petrol now keep vigil at the NNPC retail outlet on Awolowo road, Ikoyi and Total filling station on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari, had last year said that without fuel subsidy, petrol would sell for N410 per litre.

But despite petrol still being subsidised, its price yesterday hit N500 per litre in Benin City, the Edo State Capital.

Also in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, petrol sold for between N350 to N400 respectively in some select filling stations.

Taking to Facebook to express his anger and frustration, a resident in Benin City, Mr. Yinka Adedipe, said  he bought fuel at N500 per litre at Conoil filling station on Airport Road by Reservation Road junction. Another commuter who also took his anger to Facebook and identified himself as Samuel Asein, said he bought petrol at N600 per litre at  Samadeh filling station in Benin as well.

Corroborating the claims of Adedipe and Asein, another social media user with the nadle name, Bisi Olaniyi, said most filling stations, especially those operated by major marketers on Ekenwan road, Benin were selling at N510 per litre

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The hike in fuel price may not be unconnected with the inability of the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream petroleum industry which may have forced the industry to react to current  market reality.

Oil marketers had last November said the lowest price the NNPCL can sell petrol, to marketers, assuming there is no subsidy, was N400/litre

Oil marketers,  also gave other reasons for the continued scarcity of petrol, which had led to the lingering queues at filling stations nationwide.

 They said PMS imports charges were becoming unbearable for the sole importer of the commodity – the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, disclosing that the NNPC had been subtly pushing these charges to depot owners. It was learnt that depot owners, on their part, were also passing the charges to filling stations, which in turn push it to final consumers of the product.

 a development that has led to the increase in the pump price of the commodity.

A recent statement by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria(MOMAN),  attributed the lingering fuel scarcity in the country to high costs of vessels and inadequate trucks to deliver petroleum products from depots to filling stations across Nigeria.

The marketers explained that these high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on their operations with ripple effects on the pump price.

 “The major cause is the shortage and high (US Dollar) costs of daughter’s vessels for ferrying product from mother vessels to depots along the coast,” it said.

Next is the inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver products from depots to filling stations nationwide.”