Why Kerosene Prices Vary Across Nigeria

Kerosene is still being used by the majority of Nigerians as a fuel for light, heat and power; given the wide spread poverty in the country. The unusual calm over the choking cost of this product is because of the shift of consumers’ preference to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as it is more efficient. Despite the health implication associated with kerosene usage, particularly indoor air pollution, its average price per litre paid by consumers in the country has been on the increase. Its price gained 3.35 percent month-on-month (MoM) increase from N297.28per litre in September to N307.23 per litre in October 2018. There was a 12.36 percent increase year-on-year (YoY) from N273.44per litre between October 2017 and October 2018.
The average price per gallon paid by consumers in the country also increased by 2.86 percent MoM to N1,159.33 in October 2018 from N1,127.05 in September 2018 and by 12 percent YoY from N1,035.12 in October 2017.

Across the country, the average price of kerosene per litre has not been steady for over a year from October 2017 to October 2018 as shown in the upward and downward trends below. The price of a litre of kerosene which was sold for N273.44 in October 2017 rose to N290.63 in December 2017 with 8.79 percent increase MoM, but dropped continually to N268.99 in March with the lowest decline of 6.79 percent MoM so far in 2018.
Kerosene price rose again from April and it increased three times between May and June 2018, but declined between June and July until September 2018 when it increased by N297.28; and then to N307.23 in October 2018 with a MoM increase of 3.35 percent. The average price of kerosene per litre had its greatest hike in October 2018 (N307.23) and its lowest in November 2017 (N267.14), whereas it has its lowest MoM decline of 6.79 percent in March 2018 and highest MoM increase in December 2017.
The first five states with the highest prices per litre of kerosene in October 2018 were Abuja at N360.67; Enugu at N348.33; Ogun N346.30; Anambra at N342.22 and Nassarawa at N312.97. Whereas, Akwa Ibom at N273.33; Delta at N271.05; Kogi at N261.11; Abia at N248.08 and Borno at N240.44 were the states with the lowest average price of kerosene per litre in October 2018.

The average price per gallon paid by consumers in the country is currently at N1,159.33 in October 2018 from N1,035.12 in October 2017. Although there was a continuous steady decline in the average price per gallon from N1,068.54 in November 2017 to N983.67 in May 2018, the price rose from N1,004.29 in June 2018 and even more to N1,127.05 in September 2018, representing a MoM increase of 3.95 percent from the preceding month. In August 2018, the average price of kerosene per gallon was highest MoM with 8.4 percent growth while it was lowest in March 2018 with a decline of 8.45 percent.
According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in the month of October 2018, the top five states with the highest prices per gallon of kerosene were Ebonyi, Ekiti, Katsina, Jigawa and Kadunna with prices at N1,279.38, N1,277.78, N1,273.33, N1,262.50 and N1,247.06 respectively. The lowest prices per gallon of kerosene were recorded in October 2018 at Taraba , N1,092.31; Rivers ,N1,080.56; Akwa Ibom, N1,066.36; Yobe , N1,050 and Delta, N1,035.15.

The average price of kerosene per litre across the geo-political zones appears to be highest in the South West (SW) at N321.78 followed by the South East (SE) at an average rate of N320.71 per litre. On the contrary, it was lowest in the North East (NE) and North West (NW) zones at N292.02 and N294.17 price per litre each respectively. Across the zones, the states with the highest and lowest prices per gallon were Jigawa ,N333.73 and Kebbi, N279.17 in the NW; Yobe, N333.33 and Borno, N240.44 in the NE; Enugu, N348.33 and Abia, N248.08 in the SE; Edo, N326.92 and Delta N271.05 in the SS; Ogun, N346.30 and Oyo, N283.00 in the SW, and Abuja, N360.67 and Kogi, N261.11 in the NC.
The geo-political zones with the highest average price per gallon of kerosene are North West (NW) and South East (SE) at N1,204.99 and N1,175.60 respectively while the it was at the lowest level in the South-South (SS) part of the country at N1,103.25 and the North East (NE) at N1,135.31. The states with the highest and lowest average prices per gallon in each zone are Katsina N127.33 and Zamfara N1,094.44 in the NW; Gombe N1,211.11 and Yobe N1,050.00 in the NE; Ebonyi N1,279.38 and Imo N1,134.09 in the SE; Edo N1,190.00 and Delta N1,035.15 in the SS; Ekiti N1,277.78 and Ondo N1,093.24 in the SW ,and Abuja N1,225.00 and Niger N1,100.00 in the NC.
The increasing dependence on LPG in place of dual purpose kerosene (DPK) in most Nigerian homes has dimmed the importance of kerosene on the livelihoods of many households.
However, this is not the same for some rural areas. In a country with 86.9 million people living in abject poverty, the need for LPG is more cost-effective than kerosene. Hence, the government should continue to make this product available and very affordable as it is the major source of cooking after firewood.

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