Business owners have expressed concerns as the price of diesel has risen to N1,200 per litre in Ondo state and above N1,300 outside the state.
This implies a 26 percent increase in the price of the product in less than one week. It had sold for N1,030 on October 23.
As of Saturday, many filling stations in Ondo adjusted their price to between N1,200 and N1,270.
Manufacturers, who said they are still battling with forex crisis, high interest rate and poor power supply, fear that the hike in the price of diesel might compound their challenges as diesel is used to power their factories.
The situation is amidst the rising inflation which peaked to 26.7 percent in October with many families and households facing a worsening cost of living crisis.
Stakeholders say the hike in the price of diesel portends greater danger for the masses who are bearing the brunt of high inflation.
A bakery owner, Adeyeye Andrew, said: “The price keeps increasing on a daily basis. You can buy it in the morning for a certain price and in the evening, you are told that the price has changed.
“We were planning to buy diesel yesterday and we have planned our budget on the rate we bought it the last time only to be told that the price is now N1,200.”
Commenting on the situation, owner of a Rice Mill, Joseph Mondi, said in as much as logistics and power are affected, the cost of production and prices of finished goods would definitely go up.
A transporter in Ondo, Adedayo Akinsanya, said with the increase in the price of the product, a trailer would consume diesel worth N1.5m to travel from the north to the south west and come back.
He said owners of trailers would have to increase their transportation fares.
An oil marketer, Shina Amoo, noted that diesel had for long been deregulated and that its price is determined by the international market.
“As I am talking to you, it is more than N1,275 at the terminal price and when you have to add transportation cost, it would be more than that. Since it has been deregulated, it is dictated by the world market more so the dollar has also gone up. We are in hot soup with the current price of a dollar.”
A member of Premium Bread Makers Association of Nigeria in Ondo State, Emmanuel Obi, said the hike in the price of diesel might force factories to shut down.
“The price has increased since Monday. For us as bakers, the implication of that we keep increasing our prices. As long as everything keeps increasing, we would keep adding money to our product so that we can recover costs.
“You can’t do anything again. Flour today is about N43,000. Every day, they would put N5000; N10,000 on one line item. Manufacturers would shut down, industries would shut down.
A professor of Entrepreneurship Development and Lagos State chairman of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Adams Adebayo, warned that the rising cost of diesel portends a serious danger for the economy.
He said, “The economy is in a serious shamble. It has never been this bad in the last 20 years. This is the worst that has ever happened. If diesel price has gone up, it has really affected everybody.