In the midst of a global surge in crude oil prices, hitting an alarming $80 per barrel, Nigerians have been grappling with soaring fuel costs. However, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria’s PRO, Yakubu Suleiman, offers a glimmer of hope, assuring the nation that relief may be on the horizon.
In a recent interview with ARISE NEWS, Suleiman revealed that the influx of importation from marketers is expected to play a crucial role in mitigating the impact of high crude oil prices. New import vessels en route to Nigeria are poised to alleviate the burden on consumers by reducing petroleum product prices nationwide.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has further complicated the situation. Suleiman highlighted how the instability in the Black Sea route has hindered vessel movement, leading to longer alternative routes that incur higher charges. These added expenses have contributed to the current surge in fuel prices. He expressed hope that a resolution to the geopolitical tensions would eventually normalize transportation costs, providing much-needed relief to Nigerian consumers within a month or two.
Addressing the changes in petroleum product importation, Suleiman emphasized that Nigeria has witnessed a shift away from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) being the sole importer. With deregulation in place, various marketers have obtained licenses to import petroleum products, bolstering supply. However, he pointed out that market forces remain a major factor impacting prices, making stability a challenge.
Suleiman underscored the importance of integrity and genuine concern for the masses in managing government palliatives. He fervently prayed that the government appoints individuals who prioritize social services and amenities for the betterment of the population. While financial assistance is welcomed, he stressed that the provision of essential services such as electricity, hospitals, schools, and improved infrastructure is crucial in supporting vulnerable Nigerians during these trying times.
As Nigerians continue to grapple with high fuel prices, the hope lies in increased importation and stability in global routes. However, the true measure of support rests in the government’s commitment to providing comprehensive social services and amenities to uplift the lives of the citizens beyond financial aid.