Fuel queues have reappeared in Nigerian cities as motorists hurriedly seek petroleum products following President Bola Tinubu’s announcement that his administration will put an end to the fuel subsidy regime.
This development comes shortly after Tinubu’s inaugural address at Eagle Square, Abuja, where he declared the termination of the petroleum subsidy, citing its unsustainability.
In his address, President Tinubu emphasized that the current 2023 budget only includes provisions for the fuel subsidy until June.
He further explained that the funds previously allocated to subsidies will now be redirected towards the creation of public infrastructure, education, healthcare, and job creation.
“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime, which has increasingly favored the rich more than the poor.
“Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare, and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions,” President Tinubu said.
Reports from various cities indicate a rapid resurgence of fuel queues as motorists face challenges in acquiring petrol. In Abuja, Lagos, and Ondo States for example, fuel stations like Total, Mobil and Conoil witnessed long queues of vehicles as motorists struggled to purchase fuel. Some other petrol stations were shut due to uncertainties.
The scarcity led to traffic congestion throughout Monday evening and Tuesday morning, exacerbating the challenges faced by motorists and petrol is reportedly selling at prices ranging from N200 to N250.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the return of fuel queues serves as a stark reminder of the challenges inherent in the transition away from the fuel subsidy regime.
While President Tinubu’s administration aims to redirect funds towards essential sectors for the betterment of citizens’ lives, the immediate impact on fuel availability and prices has sparked concerns among Nigerians.
Business enthusiast Chris Kelechi, said: “Apart from the high cost of living that will accompany this fuel subsidy, another issue I have is the integrity of our leaders, to divert the supposed fuel subsidy allocation, to other sectors, as announced, and not squander or push it to their treasure chests”.
Similarly, Nigerian food blogger Sisi Yemmie noted: “Quite difficult to make plans in this climate – all my plans for today are gone with the wind and fuel subsidy removal. I’m trying against all odds to be productive and optimistic for my mental health”.
As the new administration grapples with the complexities of this transition, it faces the critical task of implementing measures to ensure a smooth supply of petroleum products to the public.
Balancing the need for economic sustainability, job creation, and improved public services will be key priorities for President Tinubu and his team. The coming days will shed light on the effectiveness of the government’s plans to address fuel scarcity and stabilize prices.
In the meantime, Nigerians will closely observe the administration’s strategies and their impact on the daily lives of citizens, hoping for tangible improvements in the fuel sector and the broader economy.
Passengers stranded, as fuel scarcity hits Cross River
Twenty-four hours after the declaration of President Bola Tinubu to remove fuel subsidy, fuel scarcity has returned in Cross River.
It would be recalled that Tinubu, in his inaugural speech, had declared that fuel subsidy which had been a lingering issue in the nation especially between Organised Labour and the Federal Government, was gone.
A correspondent who went around parts of Calabar on Tuesday morning observed that most of the fuel stations that sold the product 24 hours were all locked up leaving residents stranded.
At the Atimbo area of Calabar that had six active fuel stations, all of them were under lock and key and were not dispensing petroleum products.
In spite of the fact that two of these fuel stations had fuel tankers that came to discharge petroleum products, they were still not selling.
In one of the fuel stations visited by NAN, a male official who declined comment on the matter, claimed that they were only carrying out directives.
Mr Effiong Nsa, a mini bus driver who spoke to NAN, said that most of the fuel stations that were locked up had the products and sold fuel the previous day.
He said that they only stopped selling so that they could make more profit following the declaration of the new President on the issue of fuel subsidy.
“I know that all these stations have fuel, they are only trying to make more profit by buying at a subsidised price and selling at a price that would be determined after the subsidy removal.
“Right now, what I have in my vehicle is going down, immediately it finishes, I will go and pack the vehicle at home because there is no where to buy the product,” he said.
On her part, Mrs Juliana Adak, one of the passengers stranded at the Edim-Otop junction, said that the suffering was so much as she had been there for over 30 minutes without getting a bus to take her to her destination.
Adak called on the Federal Government to look into the matter, adding that it was too early for the nation to experience fuel scarcity with the new administration.
Subsidy: Queues return to filling stations in Osogbo
Following the announcement of fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on Monday, queues have returned to filling stations in Osogbo metropolis.
A correspondent, who monitored the situation on Tuesday, reports that most filling stations had shut their gates, while the few ones selling were selling above the regulated price with long queues of customers.
A popular filling station opposite Ayegbaju International Market, Osogbo, which was selling at N250 at the initial stage, hurriedly changed the pump price to N270 due long queue of motorists.
At the NNPC filling station at Abere, the queue of motorists waiting to buy fuel extended from the fuel station to the entrance of Osun State House of Assembly, about five kilometres away.
Aside from these two filling stations on Osogbo-Gbongan road selling petroleum product to motorists, other filling stations on the axis were shut.
On the Oke-Fia to Agunbelewo axis, only Bovas filling station was still dispensing with long queues of motorists, causing traffic hold up.
A commercial motorcyclists, Adebayo Ahmed, told NAN that he had been on the queue for more than two hours.
Ahmed, who said that he came from Ota-Efun, the outskirt of the town to look for fuel, said all the filling stations in his area were not selling the product.
“I had been searching for where to buy fuel since morning before one of my friends told me to come to Bovas filling station at Agunbelewo.
“I got here around 8 a.m. and met a very long queue. I hope it will get to my turn before they run out of petrol,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state government said its Special Monitoring Team on Fuel Scarcity would begin monitoring all filling stations across the state in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Olawale Rasheed, the spokesperson to Gov. Ademola Adeleke.
Rasheed said any fuel station found guilty of hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity would be sealed and operators prosecuted for crime of economic sabotage.
“The attention of the Osun state government has been drawn to the deliberate hoarding of PMS by the fuel dealers within the State as a result of the Inaugural speech of President Bola Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy, thereby causing unnecessary hardship for the people of the state.
“This deliberate action is not only inhumane, but unpatriotic and will not be allowed by the government.
“To this end, the special monitoring team on fuel scarcity, set up by Gov. Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke, and headed by the Chief of Staff, Kazeem Akinleye, is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage.
“As from today, 30th May 2023, the Committee shall begin special monitoring of all the filling stations across the state in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders,” the statement read.
Subsidy removal: Queues return to filling stations in Abuja
Following the announcement of fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on Monday, queues have returned to filling stations in Abuja.
A correspondent, who monitored the petrol supply situation in Maitama, Wuse, Gwarimpa, Wuye and Kubwa areas of Abuja, reports that there are long queues in filling stations and some are closed.
Some of the filling stations are selling at the approved pump price while some have increased the prices by Monday evening.
Some residents of the capital city complained that the scarcity would affect the economy, as most businesses would be negatively affected.
A civil servant, Mr Brown Uzor, said he has been in the filling station since 7 a.m., and has not been able to get fuel.
“We know it’s not the government’s making but the government should work on the roadmap to avoid any further problem.
“However, we saw this coming, I believe it’s just panic buying and the filling stations are taking advantage of the president’s speech.
“I personally want the subsidy to be removed because as a nation we need to grow but the fuel price should not be too high because of the ordinary Nigerian,” Uzor said.
Earlier reported was that President Tinubu, in his inaugural speech, said that the fuel subsidy regime had ended with the commencement of his administration.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) are addressing the concerns regarding the removal of fuel subsidy.
The agency stated that it was working to avoid disruptions in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, and ensure that consumers are not short-changed in any form.
The agency has assured that it would ensure steady supply of the commodity to meet demand, and had taken necessary steps to ensure that the distribution channels remained uninterrupted and fuel readily available at all filling stations nationwide.
Ondo residents decry hike in pump price, queues resurface in stations
Residents have decried the hike in pump priceand long queues that resurfaced in filling stations in Akure and major towns in Ondo State shortly after the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday.
President Tinubu had during his inauguration speech had said that there was no going back on the removal of fuel subsidy, but rather the funds shall be re-channel into better investment in public infrastructure.
Shortly after the inauguration address queues resurfaced at filling stations in the state capital, Akure and places like Ikare and Owo.
By Tuesday morning the situation at filling stations had worsened with long queues of motorist creating multiple lines at the few filling stations selling the commodity, thus causing traffic snarls on the affected highways.
An investigation by NAN revealed that some of the filling stations selling fuel had increased their pump price from N220 per litre to N280 while some sold at N300.
In an interview with NAN, Mr Tunde Femi, a taxi driver, frowned at the development, saying the president’s inaugural speech touching on removal of fuel subsidy led to the immediate hike in pump price and hoarding of the commodity by some petroleum marketers.
The taxi driver, who said that he had been looking for where to buy fuel at the cost N220 for over two hours, called on the state government and petroleum regulatory bodies to find quick solution to the situation so as not to cause hardship for the masses.
“I am highly surprised about what happened since yesterday because it not supposed to be that filling stations will stop selling fuel while some have arbitrarily increased the price.
“As at two days ago, major marketers sold fuel at official price of N195 per litre while independent marketers sold at N220, but immediately after the inauguration speech, some filling stations increased the price between N250 and N300,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Ariyo Osadare, a hotelier, decried the long queue of motorists at filling stations, saying the pronouncement of President Tinubu about removal of fuel subsidy should not cause the petroleum marketers to hoard their fuel.
“If at all the fuel subsidy was removed, most of filling stations are not helping matter because I was at on filling station when he suddenly stop selling saying fuel has finished.
“The fuel I bought yesterday was N230 per litre but this morning is N250. But if the fuel subsidy removal is for the benefit of the masses, I am 100 per cent in support,” he said.
Mr Moses Lawrence, an Aluminum fabricator, appealed to filling stations to support the new government for it to achieve the benefit of fuel subsidy removal.
According to him, it may be difficult at the start, but all will be well if government can sincerely do what they promised about the subsidy removal.
“As far as I am concerned, if government can fulfill what they intend to do, I believe it will be a good thing for all Nigerians,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Mufutau Balogun in Ikare-Akoko, Akoko North East Local Government Area of the state told NAN that only one filling station was selling fuel out of numerous in the town.
“As at this morning, I bought at the rate of N250 per liter while only one filling station is selling at Ikare now and one other station between Ikare-Akoko and Ogbagi-Akoko.
“Other filling stations are locked and the situation has started affecting the masses, but if the fuel subsidy removal will make things work well in our country, I believe we will all smile as government promised at the end of the whole thing,” he said.
However, a manager in one of the filling station on the Airport Road, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, who refused to mention her name, said that the price increase was on the order of the management.
“For now, we are selling at N250 per litre although we sold at N220 on Sunday and I cannot confirm to you the reason for the change,” the manager said.
Fuel subsidy removal: Queues return to filling stations in Ilorin
Following the announcement of fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on Monday, fuel queues have returned to filling stations in Ilorin metropolis.
A correspondent, who went round the town on Monday evening, reports that most filling stations were closed while those selling were selling above approved pump price with long queue of customers.
Earlier in the morning before the news of the removal went round, the filling stations were selling at their different rates, but some closed down while others have increased their prices by evening.
Some of the customers who spoke to NAN however said they envisaged scarcity of fuel, hence the panic buying.
Mrs Medinah Jimoh said she would not have the time to go round in search of fuel at an expensive rate when work resume on Tuesday, so she was ready to join the long queue and buy.
Another customer, Mr David Owoeye, said the filling stations were out to exploit the customers as they will start selling old stock at a new price that has not even been announced yet.
”That is the reason why I decided to refil my tank today, so that I will not suffer searching for fuel around when the filling stations start their artificial scarcity,” he said.
Fuel Subsidy Removal: Economist predicts reduction in fuel price
Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on removal of fuel subsidy, saying this may reduce price at the long-run.
Ijaiya, who spoke with NAN on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, this will increase availability of petroleum products.
The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.
He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.
“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.
Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be increase in prices of foods and services.
He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.
“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.
“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.
Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.
He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.
“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.
The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.
He however cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.
NNPC Ltd welcomes removal of fuel subsidy, assures sufficiency
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) says the decision to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as fuel by President Bola Tinubu is a welcome development.
Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd. made this known at the NNPC Ltd. Towers in Abuja while briefing the newsmen late Monday night after the pronouncement by the President.
Tinubu, at his inauguration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Monday said subsidy regime will end with the commencement of his administration.
Kyari, while addressing the newsmen said the removal of the subsidy which had been a burden on NNPC’s cash flow would free up funds to enable optimal operations in the company.
“Subsidy has been a major challenge for NNPC’s continuous operations, we believe that this will free up resources to enable us continue to do great work and function as a commercial entity, we welcome this development,’’ he said.
Reacting to queues and scarcity already being experienced, the GCO assured Nigerians of sufficient supply of products particularly the PMS, adding that the company has over 30 days of PMS storage and supply.
“There is no reason to panic, we understand that people will be scared of potential changes in price of petrol, that is not enough for people to rush to buy more than they need,’’ he added.
He however appealed to Nigerians not to be scared or indulge in panic buying.
He added that the company as the supplier of last resort as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would continue to ensure availability of PMS and other petroleum products.
According to him, the NNPC Ltd. is also monitoring all its distribution networks to ensure compliance.
“The NNPC Ltd. is in discussion with the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to develop framework of the implementation of the removal of the PMS subsidy as announced by the president.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari set June 2023 as the date for the removal of fuel subsidy.
The federal government had explained that if it continues to service the subsidy, the country will spend N6.4 trillion annually.
Buhari’s new deadline for removing fuel subsidy will be a month after he hands over to his successor in May 2023, leaving the new leader to deal with any backlash and commotion that may follow the decision.
The government said the Medium Term Expenditure Framework was that if the nation holds on to fuel subsidy as it is designed now, we will be incurring from January to December a subsidy cost of N6.4 trillion.
Subsidy removal: We’ll ensure smooth transition, avoid supply disruptions – NMDPRA
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says it is working with the NNPC Ltd. and other stakeholders to guarantee a smooth transition following the removal of fuel subsidy.
President Bola Tinubu, in his inaugural speech on Monday, said the fuel subsidy regime had ended with the commencement of his administration.
The authority made this known on Tuesday in a statement signed by Mr Kimchi Apollo, General Manager, Corporate Communications, NMDPRA, to address concerns regarding the removal of fuel subsidy.
Apollo said the authority was working to avoid disruptions in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, as well as ensure that consumers were not short-changed in any form.
He assured ample supply of PMS to meet demand, and that the authority had taken necessary steps to ensure that distribution channels remained uninterrupted and fuel readily available at all filling stations nationwide.
He urged Nigerians not to panic over the removal of subsidy as the authority had ensured availability of petrol nationwide.
“Contrary to speculations and concerns, the announcement is in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021), which provides for total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to drive investment and growth.
“We, therefore, call on Nigerians to remain calm and resist the urge to stockpile as it poses significant safety hazard.
“The NMDPRA reassures all Nigerians that the removal of subsidy on PMS is a step towards building a more sustainable and prosperous future for our nation.
“We will continue to monitor activities and implement necessary measures to enhance transparency and accountability in the petroleum downstream sector,” he said.