The Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited announced on Wednesday morning that it would change the pump price to N537 per litre in Abuja, marking the end of the controversial fuel subsidy. The move aims to bring clarity to fuel prices and reduce the burden of subsidy, which was costing the country nearly $10 billion annually.
RateCaptain, a fuel price monitoring service, confirmed that similar price adjustments were observed in other cities. In Lagos State, the NNPC station on Old Ota Road, Abule-Egba, now retails fuel at N488 per litre, while the NNPC Mega Station at Lagos Bus Stop in Port Harcourt sells at N511 per litre. In Plateau State, the pump price stands at N537 per litre at NNPC stations.
As the sole supplier of petrol in Nigeria, NNPC’s price adjustments are expected to set the tone for other fuel marketers to follow suit and adjust their own pump prices accordingly. This development suggests that not only has the subsidy been removed, but also the price equalization mechanism that ensured a uniform petrol price throughout Nigeria has been discontinued.
The specific foreign exchange (FX) exchange rate used by NNPC to arrive at the new pump price is yet to be disclosed, but it is estimated to be around N600/$. President Bola Tinubu, who held a meeting with the Chief Group Executive Officer (CGEO) of NNPC and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday, discussed the contentious issues of fuel subsidy and multiple exchange rates.
The announcement of the fuel price adjustment has sparked various reactions from Nigerians on social media. Many individuals expressed concerns about the timing and payment of subsidy funds. Some questioned why NNPC increased pump prices when the government had reportedly budgeted for subsidy payments until June or July. Others raised suspicions about the non-payment of subsidy funds to NNPC in the past two months and the management of the subsidy budget.
Kweku tweeted, “If the Buhari administration said subsidy money has been budgeted until June and July, why did NNPC increase their pump price?
Ike tweeted, “ FG has not paid them for the last 2 months, the real question is who steal last 2 months fuel subsidy payment to NNPC
Usen tweeted,” The one they budget has not been paid; Nigeria owes a whopping N2.3 trillion. Who is drinking this subsidy money? Are we subsidizing the whole of West Africa with our fuel? This is a big question.
Galileo tweeted, “They just claimed yesterday that the FG owes them more than N2 trillion.
Omotayo tweeted, “ 488 naira per litre in Lagos but one thing is certain, just know that you will be buying it for 500 per litre
While the removal of fuel subsidy and the subsequent pump price adjustments may cause initial unease among consumers, it is important to note that these changes reflect the government’s efforts to address the long-standing challenges associated with subsidy and equalization mechanisms. The move aims to promote transparency and improve the efficiency of the country’s fuel sector.
As Nigerians adapt to the new fuel prices, it is crucial for stakeholders to engage in open dialogue and ensure that consumers’ interests are protected. The government, NNPC, and other relevant agencies will need to provide clear communication and transparency regarding the reasons behind the changes and the expected benefits for the economy and citizens alike.