The lingering scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol has continued to bite harder in several parts of Kaduna state, as the pump price of the product has risen as high as N220 per litre.
This comes amid uncertainty about when the scarcity will abate in the northern part of the country.
Although the state plays host to the Kaduna Petrochemical and Refining Company (KRPC), the lingering scarcity of PMS has continued to unleash untold hardship and suffering for the residents who mostly rely on the product for their daily activities.
Most of the filling stations owned by major marketers in the Kaduna state capital are currently out of stock, while the few ones with the product, owned by independent marketers, are selling above the government-approved pump price of N165.
While the long queues are not as heavy as it was early this year when the scarcity started, the few filling stations where petrol is available, are now using the law of demand to fix their pump prices.
Residents lament that despite the assurance by the Federal Government to address the scarcity, the situation has continued to linger, even as they say they buy fuel at the filling stations at an expensive rate.
The prices range from N185 to N220 per litre, with motorists lamenting the negative impact of the arbitrary price increase in their daily lives.
On their part, the independent petroleum marketers attribute the increase in petrol pump prices to many factors, ranging from non-availability of products to the cost of landing from Lagos to Kaduna, and the high cost of diesel to power their generators due to the lack of electricity supply.
‘FG Not responsible’
Price increases have been recorded in many parts of the country, including in Lagos and Abuja.
However, the Federal Government has denied that it is responsible for the increase.
According to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the government is still subsidising petrol.
Speaking at the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) stakeholders’ consultation forum on regulations earlier this week, Sylva said the marketers are most likely to blame.
“I can tell you authoritatively that we have not deregulated,” he said.
“The government is still subsidising. If there are increases in price, it is not from the government. It is probably from the marketers.
“But I will talk to the authorities to actually regulate the price. But this is not from the government. We have not deregulated.”
Meanwhile, petrol subsidy claims continue to skyrocket.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, petrol subsidy claims reached N2.6 trillion in the first half of 2022, surpassing revenue generated from the sale of crude oil.