Lagos – Some-small scale operators and commercial motorists plying Lagos roads on Sunday lamented over the increasing price of diesel which now stands at N200 per litre in most of the filling stations in Lagos.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in interviews that the increasing price had affected the profit margin of their businesses, thereby making them to run at a loss.
Mr Thompson Alo, General Manager, HTS Photo Laboratory, Agege said that the company spent N200, 000 monthly to buy diesel to power their generator.
Alo said that before, they used to spend just N100, 000 to buy the product because electricity supply was regular and the product was just at N130 per litre.
“With the price of diesel now at N200 per litre, the company is not making any profit, we had to send away two of our staff, last month.
“In June, the company made a profit of just N5, 000 for the entire month, we cannot afford to pay the salaries of workers.
“If diesel is N130 per litre, we will be saving N70 from each litre from the 1000 litres buy in a month, this is over N70,000,’’ he said.
Alo appealed to the Federal Government to wade into this problem and help in the importation of the product, adding that the cabal in the diesel business was making a lot of profit.
The general manager said that with the current world crude oil price that was less than 50 dollars, the product should not be more than N100 per litre.
Mrs Josephine Okoro, Managing Director, Blue Sky Frozen Foods, Ijora lamented the pain she was going through to sustain her business.
“Our business is finished without regular supply of public electricity, but now that there is no supply from the electricity distribution company, I rely on diesel to fuel my generator.
“This is really affecting our business because one cannot just increase the price because of the power challenges we are facing.
“All the profit now goes to buying diesel. I just keep coming to the shop because I don’t want the business to collapse.
“It is no longer business as usual now because all profit now goes into the purchase of diesel,” she said.
Okoro said she was spending close to N80, 000 monthly to keep her cold room alive.
Also, some commercial motorists in Lagos told NAN that the increasing diesel price was affecting their take home.
Mr Morufu Salami, a commercial bus driver that plies the Sango/Oshodi axis told NAN that the driving business was no longer as rosy as before.
Salami said he spent N8, 000 on diesel daily, only to discovered that at the end of the day, there was nothing to take home.
“Apart from buying N8, 000 diesel, motor touts will collect almost N4, 800 daily, apart from Police settlement, then I will deliver N10, 000 to the owner.
“What is left will be shared by the conductor and myself. But recently, we are being left with little or nothing after the day’s work.
“The price of diesel is on the high side: from N130 in May to N200 in June. This is too much, our government should save us from the hardship.
“Drivers cannot boast of saving N2, 000 a day now, as everything is on the high side. Government should come to our rescue,” he said.
Another commercial bus driver, Mr George Okorie, said that he always checked filling stations along Abule-Egba/Iyana-Ipaja Road to see those selling diesel below N200 per litre.
“The increasing price of diesel has taught me to check the prices of diesel on display before buying.
“I always buy my diesel at Danco filling station along Iyana-Ipaja because it is cheaper there.
“They sell diesel for N183 per litre and their petrol is N140 per litre.
“Things are not easy, so you have to look before you leap,” he said.
NAN recalls that Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel, was deregulated by late President Musa Yar’Adua in 2009, in line with his administration’s pledge to dismantle the alleged fuel mafia.
NAN also reports that several years after the deregulation, the expected market behaviour of a deregulated product is far from being realised in the country.
However, the price of diesel has remained high, despite the crash of oil prices in the international market to below $50 per barrel of crude. (NAN)