By Adewale Sanyaolu, Lagos; Laide Raheem Abeokuta; Desmond Mgbo, Kano; Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi; Okey Sampson, Umuahia; Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri; Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan; Uche Usim, Abuja; Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja; Gyang Bere, Jos;Judex Okoro, Calabar; Rose Ejembi, Makurdi; Paul Osuyi, Asaba; Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure; John Adams, Minna; Obinna Odogwu, Awka; Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti and Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There was confusion in many parts of the country yesterday over the purported increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol.
Fuel prices went up from N162, N165 per litre to about N300 in some places, leading to panic buying, hoarding, increase in transportation and food prices in some parts of the country. Confusion trailed the increase which was reportedly caused by a N212 per pump post on the website of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva asked Nigerians to disregard the increase, saying it was a mix-up.
But despite denials and rebuttals by him and PPPRA which later took down the price post from its website, fuel sold at higher prices per litre in many geopolitical zones and states.
In the South East, many petrol stations in Awka, Owerri and Umuahia either adjusted their metres to reflect the new increase or shut down altogether to wait for clearer information on the increase. Those who did so include CAPAD Filling Station located in Nodu village in Okpuno Community, Awka South Local Government Area, Anambra State, which originally sold at N176 per litre earlier yesterday morning but adjusted the pump price as soon as the management got win of the increase.
Filling stations along Awka-Onitsha Expressway and across the state shut down as soon as users rushed down to them to buy petrol before the new increase could be effected. In Imo State, most filling stations in the state also shut down for the same reason. Few stations that were opened sold fuel above the normal pump price between N220 and N 230 per litre, leading to
The astronomical increase has also automatically affected the fares charged by commercial vehicle operators.
In Aba and Umuahia in Abia State, commuters groaned following the hike in transport fares as a result of the increase in fuel pump price. Many private filling stations closed for business, saying they ran out of stock. The few that dispensed fuel in the two cities, sold at between N212 to N235 per litre. The fuel increase also caused a 100 per cent increase in transport fares.
Asaba, the Delta State capital was relatively calm on Friday, as fuel stations sold at the old rates of between N162.00 and N170.00 per litre.
But there was a mild queue at the NNPC filling station on Okpanam, ostensibly for dispensing fuel at the cheapest rate across town.
In Calabar, petrol sold for between N190 and N210 per litre. Many stations adjusted their pump to reflect the new price increase. Major marketers sold at N190 per litre while independent marketers sold for between N195 and N220 per litre.
There was confusion in Yenagoa over the development. Some stations sold at N165 per litre while some stations quickly adjusted their metres to N212.
In Edo State, the purported hike in the pump price of fuel has started having its negative impact on commuters and motorists in Edo State.
A visit to some of the filling stations in the state revealed that they were shut down for businesses.
There was panic purchase of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday.
Up till Thursday night, filling stations in Ibadan dispensed the commodity for between N162 and N165 per litre. But the situation changed on Friday when people woke up to receive the news that petrol would now be sold to members of the public for N212.61.
In Ogun State, residents went about their normal businesses. Though, not few residents wondered why the pump price should jump from N168 to N212, a visit to some of the petrol stations in the Abeokuta metropolis, revealed that the various pump prices ranging from N162, N165, 165.50, N168 and N170, were still being maintained. Residents did not engage in panic buying as no queue was sighted in the petrol stations visited yesterday.
In Ado-Ekiti, most petrol stations sold for between N163 and N 186. Those selling for less experienced long queues. Transport fares were also increased by cab drivers and okada riders in Ado-Ekiti metropolis.
Petrol dealers in Akure, the Ondo State capital also increased the pump price of petrol. Many of the independent petroleum marketers in the state sold the product for between N200.00 and N205.00 per litre.
Most fuel stations in Makurdi, the Benue State capital shut down as a result of the announced increase in fuel pump price.
This is even as there were long queues at the few fuel stations that were still selling at the time of this report.
In Minna, fuel stations that opened for business in the morning quickly shut down operations. The development forced most motorists off the road, as most commuters were seen trekking under the scorching sun. Most affected were Muslim worshippers who had to trek to the mosque to observe their Friday prayers.
In Plateau State, motorists experienced excruciating pains following the emergence of long queues in the few filling stations that sold petrol in the state.
In Kano, the state branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Friday debunked claims of a hike in the price of petrol in the state.
The association in a statement denied receiving any official communication from the Federal government to upwardly review the price of petrol in the state.
Saturday Sun investigation revealed that while most of the fuel stations in the state sold at N163.00 per litre, a few others like Standard Filling Station along Airport Road sold for 165.00k.
In Kaduna, motorists engaged in panic buying as a result of the news of the hike in pump price as announced on Thursday night.
From Kawo in Kaduna North through Kakuri in Kaduna South and Sabo in Chikun Local Government Areas, there were queues in all the fuel stations dispensing petrol between N162 and N165 per litre.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Friday sang discordant tunes over the increase in petrol pump price.
While the national oil company has ruled out any petrol price hike in March, the PPPRA late Thursday night published on its website what it called a guide to the petrol pricing template for March 2021 at N212.61/litre for the upper band and N209.61 per litre for the lower band.
NNPC said in a tweet on Friday: “#NNPC Insists No Increase in Ex-Depot Price of PMS in March”, which is in apparent reaction to what PPPRA published.
PPPRA’s guide showed the price of petrol was estimated to increase by more than 31.24 per cent, or about N50.61 from the prevailing pump price of the commodity of N162 per litre.