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Prices of kerosene, diesel at their highest in more than two-year

The average prices paid by consumers for household kerosene and diesel in Nigeria rose to their highest levels in more than two years in April 2019, latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown.

After buying cheaper kerosene in the previous month, Nigerians bought a litre of the product at N316.26 on average, the highest price since February 2017 and this represents a 13.57 percent increase from N278.49 paid a year earlier.

Similarly, the average price of diesel continued to increase, rising for the ninth consecutive month to N230.67 in April, the most expensive since March 2017. When compared with the same period in 2018, the average price of the petroleum product rose by 12.88 percent.

Importation of petroleum products thrives in Africa’s largest producer of crude oil as its local refineries continued to function below optimal level, making the prices of kerosene and diesel susceptible to the volatility of crude oil prices in the international market since the removal of subsidies on the products.

Unlike the petroleum products which increased as average crude prices jumped to $68 in April from $64 in March, cooking gas was cheaper for the third straight month in April. The average cost of refilling a 5-kilogram cylinder of cooking gas dropped to N2,046.53 in April from N2,058.19 paid for the product in the same period last year and N2,064.45 in the previous month.

Likewise, the average price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, fell to N145.9 from N151.4 a year earlier as twenty-seven (27) states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja sold the product above government regulated price of N145, but that remained higher when compared with N145.3 paid by consumers in March 2019.

According to the statistics bureau, kerosene was most expensive in Plateau, Anambra and Enugu, while it sold cheapest in Nassarawa, Lagos and Gombe. Borno, Osun and Niger were states with the highest average prices of diesel in April, while the product recorded its lowest average prices in Plateau, Rivers and Ekiti.

The average prices paid by consumers to refill a 5-kilogram cylinder were highest in Bauchi, Adamawa and Borno as consumers in Kaduna, Oyo and Osun enjoyed the cheapest averages prices, while Bayelsa top the list states with highest average prices of PMS in April having sold at an average of N148.64 a litre as Katsina led states with lowest average prices at N143.50 a litre.

Credit|BussinessDay

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