THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd.) has officially increased the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, by about 200 per cent.
President Bola Tinubu had declared in his inauguration speech on Monday, May 29, that his administration would be abolishing the subsidy on petroleum imports.
“Fuel subsidy is gone”, Tinubu had declared.
Fuel queues had immediately begun building on the same day as many retailers shut their filling stations, hoarding their stock and creating scarcity with a view to hiking fares later.
By the morning of Tuesday, May 30, long queues of vehicles had built up at filling stations open for business, and retailers were selling at unofficial pump prices as high as N600 per litre.
The NNPCLtd has, however, in a template it sent today to marketers, confirmed the astronomical rise in pump price of the product, with the minimum being the N488 per litre obtainable in Lagos, while it will be selling as high as N557 per litre in Maiduguri.
As is the current dynamics, prices in the different states are determined by the vagaries of logistics, especially transportation costs.
A document regarding the price hike sighted by The ICIR has been confirmed by oil industry sources.
President of the Petroleum Retail Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Billy-Gilly Harris, told The ICIR, “Yes, I can confirm the document; we are now in a full deregulated market.”
The NNPCLtd, in a statement it issued today signed by its chief corporate communications officer, Garba Deen Muhammed, explained it was adjusting price upward “in line with current market realities.”
The company noted that “prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics.”
In Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osogbo, Akure and Ado-Ekiti, petrol will be selling for N500 per litre. And in the following four cities of Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Benin and Asaba, it will be N511 per litre.
In Ilorin, Uyo, Umahia and Owerri, it is also N511 per litre, while it is N537 per litre in Abuja, Jos, Lafia, Minna and Makurdi. It gets higher in Kano, Kaduna, Dutse and Gusau at N540 per litre, and N545 per litre in Birnin Kebbi.
It is highest in Maiduguri and Damaturu at N557 per litre.
A commercial bus driver Dickson Aja told The ICIR that he bought fuel today for N530 per litre in the Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.
Unofficially, however, the prices are higher, especially at filling stations owned by independent marketers, than what the NNPCLtd template dictates. A tricycle operator in Enugu, Onyeka Anyaegbule, told The ICIR that he bought petrol for N600 per litre in Enugu today.
Also, The ICIR correspondent in Lagos bought a litre of the product in the afternoon today at N520 at the C & G filling station on Pedro Road, after the Pedro police station, Palm Grove, in the Lagos metropolis.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president Joe Ajaero has urged the Federal government to put some mechanisms in place to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal on the people.
“There are hiccups associated with subsidy removal, especially inflation on transportation costs and food prices. All these reactions and side effects ought to have been taken into consideration before the removal of subsidy,” Ajaero, who spoke today in a monitored interview on Channels Television Sunrise breakfast show, said.
The NLC chief and other top officials of the body were scheduled to meet with some Federal government representatives by 2pm today over the subsidy removal development.
“Government seems to have shown interest in the discussion. As at last night, they reached out, and we have fixed 2pm today to commence discussions,” Ajaero said.
“There are other issues that will be discussed because you can’t just say there’s no subsidy and then you are not producing and leave us at the vagaries of the market to people who want to sell the product they bought for N10 for N100 to maximise profit,” he said.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.