Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), at the weekend, disclosed that the average retail price of a litre of petrol in Nigeria rose year-on-year from N189.46 in August 2022 to N626.70 in August 2023, representing a 230.78 per cent increase during the period.
In its ‘Petrol Price Watch’ for August 2023, the NBS also stated that month-on-month, comparing the average price value with the previous month of July 2023, the average retail price increased by 4.39 per cent from N600.35.
Nigeria, which had for years been burdened by a costly petrol subsidy regime, on May 29 ended the unsustainable scheme, resulting in skyrocketing energy, transportation, and food prices.
Last week, the NBS said that headline inflation had jumped to 25.80 per cent from 24.08 per cent in July, an increase of 1.72 per cent points.
In the latest figures released by the body, it noted that on state profile analysis, Taraba State had the highest average retail price for petrol at N680.00, with Borno and Benue states coming next, with N657.27 and N649.14, respectively.
On the other hand, it explained that Adamawa, Rivers, and Delta states had the lowest average retail prices for the product at N594.81, N596.80, and N604.63, respectively.
On the zonal profile, the North-east zone, the NBS report said, had the highest average retail price of N636.93, while the South-south zone had the lowest price of N616.95.
Also, as the price of diesel continues to skyrocket, hitting over N1,000 per litre in September, the NBS stated that in August, the average retail price for the commodity was N854.32 per litre.
Oil marketers have recently decried the rising diesel price, which is mainly used to power many industrial concerns in the absence of a reliable source of power supply in the country. Diesel is also used by heavy-duty vehicles to transport products around the country.
The federal government recently began the implementation of a 7.5 per cent VAT on diesel despite an outcry from oil sector operators that it will further cause price increases and worsen the current inflationary trend.
For instance, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), called on the government to stop the Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel, insisting that the product was fundamental to the smooth supply of petrol.
It observed that before the introduction of VAT on diesel, the cost of the commodity was barely above N600/litre, but had increased to almost N1,000/litre currently.
But in the data released at the weekend, the NBS explained that the August 2023 price of N854.32 per litre amounted to an 8.57-per cent increase over the N786.88 per litre paid in August 2022.
However, on a month-on-month basis, it said that the price increased by 7.53 per cent from the N794.48 per litre recorded in July 2023.
On state profile analysis, the report said the highest average price of diesel in August 2023 was recorded in Abia at N970 per litre, followed by Niger at N960.14 per litre and Abuja at N950.22 per litre.
On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Bayelsa at N700 per litre, followed by Katsina State at N771.43 per litre and Kaduna State at N775.42 per litre.
Besides, the analysis by zone showed that the North-central had the highest price at N907.86 per litre, while the South-south recorded the lowest price at N820.02 per litre.
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja