Nigerians lament the N1,200/litre price of petrol set by marketers
According to BusinessDay’s research, there is an unsettling quiet over fuel stations in Nigeria as rumours of a possible N1,200 per litre petrol price tag have Nigerians’ tongues buzzing and their fears seething.
Independent marketers’ rumours of a possible rise in fuel prices to N1,200 per litre have sent a wave of anxiety throughout the nation, even in the absence of official announcements.
According to reports, a number of variables, including the growing price of crude oil on the global market, the depreciation of the naira in relation to the dollar, and the high cost of delivering fuel within Nigeria, are behind the planned price increase.
The national public relations officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ukadike Chinedu, told Punch that “so, if you consider the cost of diesel, dollar, and other international factors, the price of petrol in Nigeria should be around N1,200/litre, but the government is subsidising it, which is understandable to some extent.”
Reactions to the announcement were swift, with many voicing worries about how it might affect their already tight finances.
“My daily transport already eats up a quarter of my salary,” Adeola Owoye, a staff in one of Nigeria’s commercial banks said on X, formally known as Twitter. “If this hike happens, then what? Walking to work isn’t even an option with the distance and safety concerns.”
Chukwuemeka Nnaji, a taxi driver, voiced similar concerns. “My entire livelihood depends on affordable fuel. If the price goes up to N1,200, I won’t be able to make ends meet. I’ll have to park my car and find something else to do, but what?”
“This is just unimaginable,” lamented Ebunola Olaniyi, a single mother of three. “How are we supposed to cope with this? Transport fares will skyrocket, food prices will go up, and everything will become more expensive. We’re barely surviving as it is.”
In his inauguration speech, President Bola Tinubu declared the end of the nearly 50-year-old petrol subsidy programme.
According to BusinessDay’s research, given the ongoing decline in the value of the naira relative to the dollar and the price of crude oil on the global market, there have been rumours that the government has partially reinstated petrol subsidies without giving notice in order to maintain the pump price at N617.
In spite of the official government policy ending the subsidy regime, Festus Osifo, the national president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), maintained on 6 October that the Nigerian government had reinstated the petrol subsidy.
Speaking on a Channels Television programme called Politics Today, Osifo, the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), one of the two biggest workers’ union coalitions in Nigeria, said that the government continues to subsidise petrol because of the price of crude oil on the global market and fluctuations in currency rates.
“The government has to come clean. In reality today, there is a subsidy because as of when the earlier price was determined, the price of crude in the international market was somewhere around less than $80 a barrel. But today, it has moved to about $93/94 per barrel for Brent crude. So, because it has moved, then the price (of petrol) also needed to move,” Osifo said in October.
In its reaction, NNPC Ltd however said the Nigerian government has not resumed payment of subsidy on petrol.
“No subsidy whatsoever. We are recovering our full cost from the products that we import. We sell to the market and we understand why the marketers are unable to import,” Kyari told State House correspondents on October 9 after a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.