In a moment of eloquence, President Tinubu took the stage at Eagle Square, addressing the nation with a statement that would have far-reaching consequences: “On fuel subsidy, unfortunately, the budget before I assumed office is that no provision is there for fuel subsidy. So fuel subsidy is gone.” Almost immediately, the familiar sight of fuel queues reappeared across the nation, accompanied by a rapid surge in prices.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the average price of petrol stood at N254.06 per litre in April 2022. However, following the president’s recent speech, prices skyrocketed to as high as N500 per litre, fueling speculations of an even steeper climb to N750 in the near future. The question now arises: what can Nigerians expect?
Presently, fuel queues have become a common sight across the country, with numerous fuel stations unable to meet the demand. The elimination of fuel subsidies has also triggered a surge in transportation costs. Concerns are growing that this price hike could extend to food and commodity prices, impacting the everyday lives of Nigerian citizens.
In the midst of this fresh fuel scarcity crisis, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has issued a stern warning to filling stations engaging in hoarding practices, specifically targeting Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.
“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,” emphasized the governor’s spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, in a statement released on Tuesday.
Similarly, the Edo State Government has taken a firm stance against petrol dealers involved in hoarding petroleum products in an attempt to drive up prices artificially. Osaigbovo Iyoha, Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, warned that any petrol station caught hoarding products would face the revocation of its property rights.
“The Edo State Government is deeply concerned about the unscrupulous attempts by petrol dealers in the state to hoard fuel and create artificial scarcity and price hikes,” stated the government in an official statement. “As a responsible government committed to the welfare of our citizens, we will employ all legal means to resist this economic sabotage.”
The statement further mandated all petrol stations to immediately resume the sale of products to the people of Edo State or face immediate closure and the potential loss of property rights, thereby enabling other legitimate and respectful businesses to thrive in the state.
Highlighting the government’s determination to protect its citizens from extortion, the statement concluded with a cautionary message: “A word is enough for the wise.”
President Tinubu had promised a fast-paced start to his administration stating “We will hit the ground running” after being declared the winner of the 2023 elections. It seems that this surge in fuel prices and subsequent scarcity may be the initial storm before a period of relative calm.
As Nigerians grapple with the consequences of these developments, social media platforms, particularly Twitter, have become a hub of discussions and reactions to the soaring prices. Users express their concerns, frustrations, and hopes for a resolution to this pressing issue.
Here are some reactions.