No More N650: Fuel Sells for New Price as 1,800 Filling Stations Shut Down, States Affected Emerge

No More N650: Fuel Sells for New Price as 1,800 Filling Stations Shut Down, States Affected Emerge

  • In protest over an anti-smuggling operation, over 1800 petrol stations were blocked on Monday in northeastern Nigeria
  • The event forced drivers to seek petrol from black market operators who saw an opportunity in the ongoing scarcity
  • Instead of the N650–N750, Black market traders sold fuel for N1400 per litre to the drivers journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over 3-year-experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

More than 1,800 filling stations in northeastern Nigeria were closed on Monday, May 24, in protest against an anti-smuggling operation that singled out specific owners, forcing drivers to purchase on the street.

Fuel Sells for N1,400/l
For many years, Cameroonian, Beninan, and Togonian black market fuel vendors relied mostly on low-cost gasoline that was smuggled from Nigeria. Photo Credit: STEFAN HEUNIS / Stringer
Source: Getty Images

According to Dahiru Buba, the chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), this is in response to the Nigeria Customs Service seizing and closing some fuel outlets on the grounds that they were smuggling fuel into neighbouring Cameroon.

Read also

Dangote unlikely to deliver fuel in July as regulator reacts to claim of bringing down refinery

Fuel smuggling business in Nigeria

For years, low-cost gasoline smuggled from Nigeria has been the main source of income for black-market fuel merchants in Cameroon, Benin and Togo.

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU ➡️ find the “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

However, the black market trade was destroyed when Nigeria eliminated its fuel subsidy last year, but since June 2023, the country has capped the price of the product, even if its currency has declined significantly.

Following IPMAN's protests, Customs initially impounded a few of the association's tankers under "Operation Whirlwind" and then released them. Buba reported that more vehicles were confiscated, and a number of petrol stations were closed, leading the operators to close their locations collectively in protest.

He said:

"We wrote to them (Nigeria Customs) again but there were no responses that is why we decided to go on strike," he said, adding that over 1,800 outlets had ceased to operate.

Read also

Nigerian supermarket sells three pieces of tomatoes For N6,950 following scarcity, picture emerges

"This is our business and we cannot be quiet when our members are treated this way."

According to Taraba and Adamawa Customs spokeswoman Mangsi Lazarus, tanker trucks were impounded because they were being used to transport gasoline.

Reuters reported that Black market dealers swiftly capitalised on the shortages in Adamawa's capital city of Yola, selling gasoline for N1,400 ($0.9459) per litre instead of the N650–N750 it was selling for at the pump.

Filling stations ready to adjust pumps again reported that the cost of importing one litre of fuel by marketers from refineries abroad has increased to N1,026.71 per litre.

This is an increase from the N545.83 per litre NNPC paid to bring the same product in the corresponding period in 2023.

According to the report, the landing cost excludes other additional expenses, such as port-related charges, transportation logistics, and marketers’ margins. When combined, these costs would bring the delivery price at filling stations to nearly N1,052.39 per litre, based on an exchange rate of N1,510 to a dollar, resulting in a differential of N458.71 per litre.

Read also

Marketers suggest new fuel price to Dangote as filling stations buy ‘cheaper’ imported fuel

Proofreading by Nkem Ikeke, journalist and copy editor at


Zainab Iwayemi avatar

Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science ( degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via