Many Nigerians are still paying far above N145 per litre pump price of petrol approved by the Federal Government for the product, a report of the National Bureau of Statistics has indicated.
The NBS in its Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) price watch for January stated that on the average, Nigerians paid the sum of N190.9 per litre for the product.
This is about N46 per litre higher than the official pump price of the product.
The report, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent by the NBS on Friday, is based on the actual amount spent by households for the purchase of the PMS across the federation.
According to the report, consumers in Osun State were the worst hit as they paid N228.89 for the product in January.
This is an increase of 36.2 per cent over the amount which the product sold in December in the state.
Abia and Benue states followed as consumers N227.5 and N223.33 per litre respectively, for the product.
On the other hand, the report gave states with the lowest price of petrol as Zamfara, N159.12 per litre; Gombe, N157.73; and Kogi, N152.83.
Many states in the North and other parts of the country are still suffering untold hardship caused by the severe scarcity of petrol.
Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger states as well as the Federal Capital Territory have been experiencing persistent petrol scarcity since last year, even as the queues for the PMS have spread to other states.
Speaking on the impact of the fuel crisis on the economy, financial analysts said there was a need for the Federal Government to adopt a “smart card initiative” to address the problem.
They said this would enable interested owners of commercial vehicles, including official vehicles owned by educational institutions, hospitals, religious bodies and government agencies to register and obtain the card for purchasing fuel at regulated prices from petrol stations owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The Head, Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Uche Uwalaka, in a chat with our correspondent, said the model which had already recorded huge success in Egypt and Libya would help to address the lingering issue of fuel scarcity in the country.
He said the need to adopt the model had become imperative following the claims that the N145 per liter pump price of petrol was no longer sustainable as a result of the high price of crude oil in the international market.