Oil marketers have warned that price of petrol could rise above N700 per litre in Northern Nigeria starting from July. According to Punch, the warning was given by the National Controller Operations, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mike Osatuyi on Wednesday. He said that prices could rise to above N700 in the north once independent marketers start importing products from July. He said while those living in the [b]northern states could pay as much as N700 and above for one litre of petrol, those outside Lagos should expect to pay around N610, as residents in Lagos would pay about N600 per litre. “What I am seeing is around N600 and above, depending on the exchange rate, the current crude price at the international market and the landing cost. Those in Lagos will pay around N600, those outside Lagos around N600 plus, while those in the north would be paying anything from N700 and above,” he said. The downstream sector currently awaits fresh petroleum products as the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority continues to licence operators willing to get involved in the importation business. The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Olufemi Adewole, told The PUNCH on Tuesday that the NMDPRA was currently licensing more importers. He said arrangements were on full speed for fresh products from July, adding that prices of products would depend on market fundamentals. “Where do countries like Ghana, Benin, and Cameroun get their products from? Is it not from Nigeria?,” he asked, making reference to products being smuggled from Nigeria to neighbouring countries. “Prices of products will depend on market fundamentals, and as we speak, the Nigeria Customs Service is delaying some AGO (diesel) vessels because of the 7.5 per cent VAT. “And don’t forget, any cost incurred by marketers would be added to landing cost, and then to the pump price. The marketer would also have to add profit because they must make profit,” he said. A former chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, and Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of 11 Plc, Tunji Oyebanji, during a chat on Monday, said consumers should expect new pump prices close to that of diesel, and those of neigbouring African countries that also import petrol.