In a historic move, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared the end of fuel subsidy during his inauguration/national address. The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the country, as Nigerians awaited the consequences of this bold decision. The move was aimed at improving the nation’s economy and redirecting funds to critical sectors, but its immediate impact on fuel prices remained uncertain.
A Filling Station Raises Pump Prices to N600 per Liter
Shortly after President Tinubu’s announcement, reports emerged of a filling station in Lagos that had swiftly adjusted its pump prices. Concerned citizens captured the scene on video, documenting the sudden increase in fuel prices. The unnamed filling station had set its price per liter at an alarming N600, leaving motorists and onlookers in disbelief.
The comments captured by a concerned citizen quickly went viral, spreading like wildfire across social media platforms. Nigerians were outraged by the exorbitant pump price and expressed their frustration and anger at the sudden surge in fuel costs. Calls for Government Intervention and Investigation
Mr. Julius Eze, a bolt driver in Abuja, disclosed that the sharp increase is unfair.
“Petrol marketers are the real problem of Nigeria. Though, some of us saw it coming,” he said.
Batmobile tweeted, “There is a Tinubu supporter somewhere right now in a long queue under this sun to buy petrol for 600 naira/liter for his 2003 Toyota Corolla.”
David Onyemiazu tweeted, “ 600 naira for a liter of petrol. Nobody exempted, including those who stood mandate and those who didn’t.”
Mayowa Olagunju tweeted “They are now selling for 500 and 600 naira per liter at the unsubsidized price even when everywhere is dry”
Calls for Government Intervention and Investigation
As news of the inflated fuel prices spread, calls for government intervention grew louder. Citizens demanded that relevant authorities investigate the filling station’s actions and ensure that the pricing adjustment was not an exploitative move to take advantage of the end of fuel subsidy. The incident highlighted the need for transparent and fair regulations to protect consumers from price manipulation during this transitions
Government Responds, Promises Swift Action
In response to public outcry, the government swiftly addressed the issue. The Osun State Government has on Tuesday threatened to seal off filling stations in the state hoarding petrol.
This was contained in a statement signed by the state’s governor spokesman, Olawale Rasheed. “Any fuel station found guilty of hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity shall be sealed off and operators prosecuted for the crime of economic sabotage,” Adeleke said. It added that the removal of fuel subsidy by Tinubu has caused 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 His Excellency, Governor Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke headed by the Chief of Staff, Hon Kazeem Akinleye is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage.
Other governments are taking similar measures to tackle the extortion of fuel by the fuel marketers.
Ensuring Fair Pricing and Public Trust
The incident at the filling station served as a wake-up call for the government to ensure fair pricing and maintain public trust during the fuel subsidy removal. It highlighted the importance of monitoring and regulating fuel prices to prevent price gouging and protect consumers from exploitation. As the government worked to implement the new subsidy-free system, it became crucial to establish mechanisms that would prevent such incidents and guarantee fair and transparent pricing across all filling stations.