The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released its comprehensive reports on fuel prices, revealing an alarming surge in October 2023 compared to previous years. The average retail price of petrol experienced a substantial upswing from N195.29 in October 2022 to a staggering N630.63 in the same month of 2023, marking a significant 222.92 per cent increase.
The NBS Petrol Price Watch for October unveiled that Zamfara, Gombe, and Borno were among the states facing the highest average retail prices, with figures ranging between N657.27 and N659.38 per litre. In contrast, Lagos, Oyo, and Delta reported the lowest prices, varying between N590.95 and N599.38.
Analysing regional patterns, the North-East Zone reported the highest average petrol price at N644.16, while the South-West exhibited the lowest at N616.81 per litre.
Similarly, diesel prices surged to an average retail price of N1004.98 per litre, showcasing a 25.45 per cent increase from the preceding year. Plateau, Nasarawa, and Benue recorded the highest diesel prices, reaching figures like N1150.00 and N1138.00 per litre, while Rivers, Borno, and Kebbi reported the lowest prices between N824.44 and N845.00.
The North-Central zone led in diesel prices, reaching N1090.69 per litre, whereas the North-East marked the lowest average price at N947.32 per litre.
The NBS also highlighted significant escalations in cooking gas prices. The average price for a 5kg cooking gas cylinder surged by 8.89 per cent from N4,189.96 in September to N4,562.51 in October 2023. Kano, Adamawa, and Ogun recorded the highest prices, with figures around N5,142.86 and N5,181.43. Conversely, Ebonyi, Osun, and Edo marked the lowest prices, ranging from N3,971.43 to N4,025.00.
Furthermore, the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder witnessed a substantial increase of 14.04 per cent from N9,247.40 in September 2023 to N10,545.87 in October 2023. Edo, Jigawa, and Delta reported the highest prices, while Zamfara, Lagos, and Oyo recorded the lowest prices.
Kerosene prices also experienced a notable surge. The average retail price per litre increased to N1,303.16, showcasing a 0.32 per cent increase from September 2023 and a 25.18 per cent increase from October 2022. Adamawa, Abia, and Abuja faced the highest prices per litre, while Kwara, Kebbi, and Enugu reported the lowest.
The price per gallon of kerosene rose to N4,581.89 in October 2023, marking a 4.63 per cent increase from September 2023 and a 30.28 per cent increase from October 2022. Taraba, Lagos, and Adamawa experienced the highest prices per gallon, while Delta, Rivers, and Ogun had the lowest.
The reports indicate a substantial economic burden on consumers as fuel and cooking gas prices continue their upward trajectory, necessitating critical attention from stakeholders to alleviate this financial strain.