It is yet another ugly scene of fuel queues at filling stations from one location to another, both inter-state and intra-state as Nigerians relive familiar fuel scarcity nightmares.
Without any shadow of a doubt, this latest development is connected to the hasty announcement of the long-talked-about fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu.
The National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited officially increased fuel pump prices to more than N500 on Wednesday morning in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, according to reliable sources, the NNPC stations already pegged fuel prices at N537 per litre in Abuja.
Tinubu, during his inaugural address on Monday, announced that the petrol subsidy was gone with no budgetary allocation to fund it.
"Government funding subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources”, he stated.
A document sighted by reliable sources early Wednesday showed pricing variety in different parts of Nigeria – indicating a sharp increase from the previous N184 official pump price to more than N500.
On his part, NNPC spokesman, Garba Deen Muhammad, in a statement said the increase in price was an adjustment to “current market realities”, indicating petrol subsidy removal.
“As we strive to provide you with the quality service for which we are known, it is pertinent to note that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics,” Muhammad said.
As a usual natural reaction, President Tinubu’s speech on Monday was instantly greeted by long queues at petrol stations across the country, with many citizens being unaware of the cause of the sudden fuel scarcity.
Also, by the following Tuesday morning, many petrol stations sold fuel for over N400 while the official pump price was still at N184.
This is amid scarcity and panic-buying by Nigerians.
A spokesman for Nigerian petrol marketers Yakubu Suleiman said they are “supporting the deregulation of the industry” by removing subsidies.
“There is no country that can survive without deregulating the economy,” Suleiman said.
NNPC, however, assured Nigerians of its commitment to ensuring a ceaseless supply of products.
“The company sincerely regrets any inconvenience this development may have caused,” Muhammed said.
“We greatly appreciate your continued patronage, support, and understanding during this time of change and growth.”
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