… as CBN blame high prices of petroleum products on the absence of efficient refineries in the country.
The National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday released the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) price watch for the month of March, which showed how the product was sold to Nigerians an average price of N163.4 to against the official price of N145.
The bureau said in the report that the amount was lower than the N172.5 per litre paid by consumers for the product in the month of February.
The NBS stated that consumers in Taraba State paid the highest amount for the product at N184.38 per litre, followed by Jigawa and Ekiti states at N180.93 and N173.89 per litre, respectively
The states with the lowest average price of PMS were given as Kaduna, at N147.29; Bauchi, N145.57; and Abuja, N145.
The report read in part, “Average price paid by consumers for Premium Motor Spirit increased by 9.4% year-on-year and -5.3% month-on-month to N163.4 in March 2018 from N172.5 in February 2018.
“States with the highest average price of premium motor spirit were Taraba, N184.38; Jigawa, N180.93; and Ekiti, N173.89.
“States with the lowest average price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) were Kaduna, N147.29; Bauchi, N145.57; and Abuja, N145.”
The absence of efficient refineries in the country has been blamed for the high prices of petroleum products.
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had last week after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting said the apex bank would encourage the private sector to invest in refineries.
He had stated that the CBN was ready to provide adequate foreign exchange to investors willing to bring in equipment to build refineries in Nigeria.
He said, “The Federal Government is encouraging private sector investors to come into refineries and what we do expect is when those private investors are coming to Nigeria to do business, if they are foreign, they will come with dollars and won’t need our dollars, but if they are local and will want to import equipment, of course, they will need our dollars.
“We have lots of dollars to allocate to them to bring in their equipment and I assure anyone who is interested in going into refineries business that if you have your licence, we will accord priority to you to import those equipment because we badly need it here.
“We all know that importation of petroleum products into the country constitutes a large portion of our imports and at some point, rising to about 25% of our import volume.
“And we think if we accelerate the process of investors going into the refineries, it will further help to conserve our forex for importation of goods we cannot produce in Nigeria.”