Weeks after Nigerians began to notice queues at different fuel stations, explanations are beginning to emerge about why Nigerians have been made to go through pains at a period many are supposed to be celebrating.

Petrol scarcity is making this years's Christmas not as interesting as it should be for many and oil marketers have been labelled as the cause of the crisi.

They have, however, offered an explanation to why the fuel scarcity has persisted for a while.

According to them, selling the product at 145 Naira per litre is no longer feasible with the current exchange rate.

Private marketers stopped fuel importation last year due to shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude prices, which they said had made it unprofitable to import petrol and sell same at 145 Naira per litre.

The National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mike Osatuyi, said: “The problem is that the importation (of petrol) is being handled almost 100 per cent by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as private importers have backed out because the increase in crude price has made the landing cost enter subsidy.

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“When the crude price hit $59 per barrel, we could not sell petrol again at 145  Naira per litre if we were importing on our own. It is only the government (NNPC) that is importing and can warehouse the subsidy".

He said the government through the Central Bank of Nigeria should have intervened by providing foreign exchange at a special rate solely for the PMS importation for both the NNPC and private importers.

"Right now, the landing cost of the PMS is 154 Naira. If you are importing at 305 Naira to the dollar, by the time you add bank charges, it comes to 307 Naira to the dollar. If you apply that to the current crude price, the landing cost is 154 Naira to 155 Naira. By the time you add all the margins, the pump price is about 160 Naira to 167 Naira .

“Before private importers can resume importation, the exchange rate to a dollar must be 250 Naira and we can sell at the price of 145 Naira per litre," Osatuyi added.

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