Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The pump prices of diesel and petrol increased significantly to 55.9 per cent and 42.6 per cent respectively between April 2022 and the same period in 2023, new data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has indicated.
The average retail price of diesel also called Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) paid by consumers rose from a lower cost of N539.32 per litre recorded in the corresponding month of last year to a higher cost of N836.81 per litre in March.
Nigeria’s rising energy costs have resulted in the country’s jumping inflation and contributes significantly to costs borne by manufacturers in the country. For instance, last month, the NBS said Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 22.04 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
It was 6.13 per cent higher than the rate recorded in March 2022 at 15.92 per cent, with energy costs on electricity, gas and other fuels contributing significantly.
Recently, manufacturers said surging diesel prices will force them to cut jobs, curb operations and raise prices.
In addition, power, which is largely unstable normally accounts for as much as 40 per cent of factories’ costs in Nigeria, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
However, on a month-on-month basis, the latest NBS data showed that an increase of 0.47 per cent was recorded from N836.91 in the preceding month of February to an average of N840.81 in March 2023.
Looking at the variations in the state prices, it stated that the top three State with the highest average price of the product in March 2023 included Bauchi (N910.46), Abuja (N889.44) and Adamawa (N880.33).
Furthermore, the top three lowest prices, it noted, were recorded in Bayelsa (N768.04), Katsina (N779.78) and Edo (N797.14).
According to the NBS, the zonal representation of average price of diesel shows that the North-east zone has the highest price of N856.42 while the South-south zone has the lowest price of N816.92 when compared with other zones.
Manufacturing accounts for about 13 per cent of output in Nigeria. Before the astronomical rise in diesel prices, Nigeria was among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, according to data available. At now over N800 naira, it would be among the highest on the continent.
In the same vein, the NBS March figures indicated that the average retail price paid by consumers for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol in March 2023 was N264.29, indicating an increase of 42.63 per cent relative to the value recorded in March 2022 of N185.30.
Likewise, comparing the average price value with February 2023, the average retail price increased by 0.20 per cent from N263.76.
On state profile analysis, Imo state had the highest average retail price for petrol with N332.67, followed by Taraba with N330.00 and Borno with N324.55.
On the other hand, Benue recorded the lowest average retail price for the product, with N195.00, followed by Plateau with N196.79 and Nasarawa with N197.50.
In addition, analysis by zone showed that the South-east recorded the highest average retail price in March 2023 with N306.00, while the North-central had the lowest with N205.10.
About an estimated 40 per cent of Nigeria’s population that’s connected to the country’s deteriorating national electricity grid endures lengthier power outages than usual and have had to depend on the fuel to power their generating sets and others.
Aside manufacturing and small businesses, the prices of diesel and petrol have also impacted the transportation sector, resulting in higher fares and contribution to the cost of living.
In February, the NBS stated that air transport fares increased by 66.36 per cent in the last one year, although the average fare paid by air passengers on air travel for specified routes single journey decreased by 0.18 per cent on a month-on-month basis from N74,702.70 in January 2023 to N74,571.62 in February 2023.
Also in the report, NBS explained that the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city on a year-on-year basis, rose by 26.07 per cent from February 2022.
Meanwhile, the average retail price for refilling a 5kg Cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) increased by 0.22 per cent on a month-on-month basis from N4,600.57 recorded in February 2023 to N4,610.48 in March 2023.
But on a year-on-year basis, this rose by 22.03 per cent from N3,778.30 in March 2022. On State profile analysis, Kwara recorded the highest average price for refilling a 5kg cylinder with N4,962.87, followed by Abuja with N4,940.00, and Adamawa with N4,915.00.
On the other hand, Rivers recorded the lowest price with N4,204.45, followed by Abia and Anambra with N4,220.15 and N4,232.75 respectively.
Also, the average retail price per litre of Household Kerosene (HHK) paid by consumers in March 2023 was N1,142.46, indicating a decline of 2.68 per cent compared to N1,173.89 recorded in February 2023.
On a year-on-year basis, the average retail price per litre of the product rose by 102.37 per cent from N564.55 in March 2022, the new NBS report stated.