Forex crisis, distribution challenges driving up petrol prices, says Rainoil MD

Dr. Jude Nwaulune - Managing Director, Rainoil Logistics, Forex, PMS, Distribution
Dr. Jude Nwaulune – Managing Director, Rainoil Logistics

Dr Jude Nwaulune, Managing Director, Rainoil Logistics, says that the ongoing foreign exchange crisis and difficulties within the local distribution channel are causing a surge in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.

Nwaulune said that the current state of the downstream sector in the country called for concern.

He said this during a panel session at the ongoing Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Week 2023 on Wednesday in Lagos.

BRANDPOWER reports that Nwaulune spoke on the theme ‘Africa Fuels Update: Overview of trends and market developments.’

He said the sanctity of contracts was another issue bedeviling the oil and gas industry, hampering potential investors.

Nwaulune said that the estimated landing cost of the product currently stood at approximately N580 per litre towards the Calabar region.

“The realities have been alluded to from the FX perspective, primarily sourcing from the parallel market, which most marketers are compelled to do.

“Reviewing our operational bases, the landing cost of PMS in Lagos is around N565 per litre.

“As we move towards the Oghara region, it’s approximately N570 per litre, and towards the Calabar area, it’s similarly within the range of N580 per litre,” he said.

Rainoil’s boss highlighted that independent marketers were facing challenges in breaking even in their operations since the removal of fuel subsidies and the emergence of the foreign exchange crisis.

He said: “You find a situation where it’s unaffordable to land petrol and distribute it to the pumps.

” In this chain, the independents are beginning to miss out. Because the 4,000 litres of PMS that used to cost N7.5 million before deregulation now stands at around N25 million.

“So, transporting it from the depot to the pumps has become a significant challenge.”

“At present, most independents are struggling to afford the product, resulting in a growing scarcity. Along the supply chain, the cost of transportation has also increased, with diesel selling at around N1,000 per litre,” he added.

Discussing the transition towards cleaner energy, Nwaulune called for increased investments in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and other cleaner fuels, as the country had adopted gas as its transitional fuel.

Given the substantial proven gas reserves, he suggested that stakeholders should make more investments to catalyse the economy.

He urged the government to address the numerous challenges facing the country, including insecurity, asset vandalism, and community unrest.

“While the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIA) is addressing some of these issues, the sanctity of contracts remains a concern, impeding potential investors.

“We need to unlock the supply side and create a sustainable supply and demand situation that will make the gas sector thrive.”

He also called on the government to eliminate all local transactions priced in dollars, stating that this move would facilitate industry growth, considering the current economic indicators of the country.

BRANDPOWER also reports that the 4-day OTL Africa Downstream Energy Week recorded about 200 participants and 20 exhibitors.