Nigerians Struggle as Diesel Prices Soar by Over 66% in May

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Nigerians are feeling the pinch at the pump as the price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) continues to rise. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Diesel Price Watch report, diesel prices have surged by a staggering 66.29% year-to-date as of May 2024. This increase has pushed the cost of a litre of diesel to over N1,400, up from N844.28 in May 2023.

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While there was a slight month-on-month decline of 0.78% from April 2024 to May 2024, this small drop does little to ease the overall burden on consumers who are already grappling with higher living costs.

The report also highlights significant geographical disparities in diesel pricing across Nigeria. The Northeast region continues to bear the highest costs, with an average price of N1,605.91 per litre in May 2024, up from N908.02 a year prior. In contrast, the Southwest region offers some relief with the lowest average price at N1,303.60 per litre, though this still reflects a substantial 56.23% increase compared to May 2023.

At the state level, Adamawa State recorded the highest average price at N1,709 per litre, followed by Sokoto State at N1,675 and Bauchi State at N1,657.92. On the other hand, Niger State reported the lowest average price at N1,140.20, followed by Kano State at N1,153.33 and Oyo State at N1,236.92.

Despite Nigeria’s status as a leading crude oil producer in Africa, the country relies heavily on imported refined products, including diesel. The newly established Dangote refinery, hailed as a transformative force in the industry, is expected to positively influence petroleum product prices, including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and diesel.

In April, BusinessDay reported that the Dangote refinery had begun delivering its initial batch of diesel to local marketers, reducing diesel prices from N1,200 per litre to N1,000 per litre. Two weeks later, the refinery announced further price cuts for both diesel and aviation fuel, reducing prices to N940 per litre for diesel and N980 per litre for aviation fuel.

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