Fuel Pump Price Hits N1,200 Record High Despite Renewed Hope Budget

Earlier today, it was reported that a liter of petrol has reached its highest since independence, settling at N1,200 per liter. The increase can be attributed to the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his inauguration day.

However, Nigerians are not comfortable with the recent news, as many found it difficult to travel due to meet their loved ones during the Christmas and New Year break following the cost of transport fares, and even those who travel will find it hard to return following the hike in petrol prices. 

BusinessDay findings reveal that even though official pronouncements remain elusive, independent marketers’ murmurings about a potential increase in the pump price of petrol to N1,200 per liter have sparked a wave of apprehension across the country.

The hike in the price of petrol is reportedly driven by different factors, including the rising cost of crude oil in the international market, the fall of naira against the dollar, and the increased cost of distributing petrol within Nigeria.

Speaking with PUNCH, Ukadike Chinedu, the national public relations officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, said,

  • So, if you consider the cost of diesel, the dollar, and other international factors, the petrol price in Nigeria should be around N1,200/liter, but the government is subsidizing it, which, to an extent, is understandable.

The rise in petrol prices also sparked many reactions, with many expressing concerns about the impact on their budgets.

Reactions From Nigerians on the Rise in Petrol Pump Price

“My daily transport already eats up a quarter of my salary,” Adeola Owoye, a staff member 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 increase, and everything will become more expensive. We’re barely surviving as it is.”

Back Story

It was also reported that the federal government introduced the fuel subsidy unannounced to keep the pump price at N627 following the consistent fall of the naira against the dollar.

On October 6, the national president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, insisted that the Nigerian government had restored the subsidy on petrol despite the official government policy of ending the subsidy regime.

Osifo, who is also the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), one of Nigeria’s two largest workers union coalitions, said while featured on a Channels Television program, Politics Today, said due to the cost of crude oil in the international market and the exchange rate, the government still pays subsidies on petrol.

He said, 

  • 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 less than $80 a barrel. But today, it has moved to about $93/94 per barrel for Brent crude. So, because it has moved, the price (of petrol) also needed to move.

In its reaction, NNPC Ltd, however, said the Nigerian government had not resumed payment of subsidy on petrol, Kyari told State House correspondents on October 9 after a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said,

  • There is no subsidy whatsoever. We are recovering our total cost from the products that we import. We sell to the market and understand why the marketers cannot import.

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