The price of kerosene, used by majority of Nigerians for cooking, has risen to as much as N300 per litre in many parts of the country, with many depots in Lagos not loading the product.Out of 36 depots surveyed in Apapa, only one, Index, was loading dual purpose kerosene as of Friday.
Strong indications also emerged that despite the recent liberalisation of the fuels market, many marketers had yet to start importing kerosene as they continued to focus on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.
In Lagos, a number of filling stations did not have kerosene to sell on Tuesday, while some of those that had the product were selling for as much N220 per litre, especially in Ikorodu.
With the non-availability of the product at many filling stations, roadside vendors were selling 4.5 litres of kerosene for between N1,200 and N1,400.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Lagos Zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent, “It is not only kerosene; it is also affecting diesel. Diesel is now being sold at between N185 and N200 per litre as against N105-N110.
“The reason is not far-fetched; the System 2B of the PPMC has collapsed and that has been the system that has been maintaining the supply chain of the PPMC for a while. For the past one month now, the headquarters of the System 2B, which is Mosimi, has not been loading a single litre. So, they are not pumping to Ejigbo, Ibadan, Ilorin and Ore.
“Depots in Apapa rely on getting the PPMC products to their tank farms. Instead of the depot owners in Apapa to supplement the supply from the government, they are busy waiting for the PPMC products. The major oil marketers and DAPPMA are not bringing in diesel or kerosene; those who have access to the available supply are capitalising on the scarcity to maximise their profits.”
Korodo said the prices of kerosene and diesel would continue to go up if they were not being loaded at the PPMC depots.