Many Nigerians have groaned over an increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol as the product which now sells at N617, saying things are becoming unbearable.
The increase in petrol price took Nigerians by surprise on Tuesday with many petrol stations including those of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) adjusting their pump to a new price higher than what was being sold.
Some major and independent marketers have adjusted their petrol pump price to N620 per litre, while some are still selling at N540 and N550 per litre.
While lamenting over the situation, some residents of the ancient city who spoke on condition of anonymity said it would bring more hardship to the people as the cost of transportation and food will be increased.
Many described the situation as an ‘unannounced increment’ calculated attempt to reduce the purchasing powers of Nigerians, and increase hunger in the land.
Some of them were of the opinion that Nigerian’s well-being and standard of living are being threatened berating the government for not providing needed Palliatives before removing the fuel subsidy.
Angry motorists who are not happy with the latest development criticized the marketers for selling at N620 per litre of petrol when they are still selling their old stocks and have urged the government to do something about it.
A Kaduna resident, Victor Rueben, advised the government to fix the refineries in the country to stem continuous fuel price increase.
“In fact people almost fought here now because in our presence people that bought before me bought at N540, within a short time they said their light went off just for them to come back and adjust the metre to N620 and you have no option, like me my car just stopped and I couldn’t move, so I have to buy and maybe take the car home and park it because it is not funny now.
“My appeal to them (government) is this thing is becoming unbearable for the masses, if they know that they want to really do well as a government, let them see how they can put our refineries in order so that they will not be telling us that they are paying money to bring the product back.
“When they take the crude oil out they tell us they are paying higher money to bring it back, if our refineries are working, all these things won’t be like this,” Rueben said.
Another resident Abubakar Iliyasu, said, “I have been here for the past one hour; in less than 10 minutes they said they have increased the fuel price to N620. Is the new stock or old stock? We are using old stock.
“Look at other vehicles there waiting for fuel but still they are selling N620 within a twinkle of an eye. Where are we heading to as Nigerians? Is there any justification in it? Let the government realise that things are worsening, we cannot just fold hands and start bearing it.”
Meanwhile, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okoronkwo on Tuesday explained the sudden hike in the pump price of petroleum products in Nigeria.
Okoronkwo blamed the sudden hike in the pump price of petrol on the cost of dollars.
He explained that petroleum products are imported to Nigeria using dollars, hence the increase.
Speaking on Arise Television, the IPMAN National President advocated the use of Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, as an alternative to petrol.
According to Okoronkwo: “This business is done with dollars, remember the rate of dollars now is in one window and not like we had several others, where CBN will give around N400 while the black market will be around the region of N700 but now there is no more second window.
“Today the dollar is around N800 and in a deregulated regime, what determines the price of anything is the cost. The product is not refined here, everything is imported.
“If we want to achieve something, there are other alternatives we have proffered. The CNG is something this nation needs to seriously look into; so it would be a matter of choice if you want to use gas or petrol.
“The price has really gone up because of the fundamentals in the market which has to do with the dollars.”
The NNPC, on Tuesday, increased the pump price of petrol to about N617 per litre.
This is coming shortly after the petrol price was increased to over N500 per litre following the removal of fuel subsidy.