On Tuesday, there was widespread anger among Nigerians due to the increase in the pump price of petrol, also known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and other oil marketers across the country.
For instance, in Abuja and Ondo State, the cost of petrol surged from about N537/liter to between N617 and N630/liter, leading to a sharp increase in transportation costs within hours and leaving thousands of passengers stranded in many cities.
The President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government faced criticism from the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and many citizens for allowing the continued hike in petrol prices. The NNPCL and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, both Federal Government entities, explained that market forces caused the price hike, as the commodity had been fully deregulated. However, Nigerians expressed frustration over the continuous sharp increase in the cost of petrol.
Tinubu had previously announced the end of the petrol subsidy, which led to the price of petrol jumping from N198/liter to over N500/liter. Since then, the cost of PMS has continued to rise, and the floating of the naira against the dollar has also contributed to further price hikes.
Various labor unions criticized the government’s decision to hike petrol prices and its plan to distribute N8,000 monthly to 12 million poor households, accusing the government of taking from the poor to pay the rich.
Petrol prices in some filling stations operated by NNPCL in Abuja were raised to N617/litre on Tuesday, and independent oil marketers confirmed the increase in petrol cost, stating that NNPCL’s price changes indicated a rise in the pump price of PMS.
Netizens on social media also expressed their discontent with the situation, lamenting that the price hike would further impoverish citizens and criticizing the government’s handling of the economic challenges.
Oil marketers predicted that petrol prices could reach N700/liter once fresh products from independent firms start arriving in Nigeria. This prediction was met with opposition from labor unions and citizens who saw it as a way for marketers to justify future price hikes.
In conclusion, the sudden increase in petrol prices in Nigeria has caused widespread anger among citizens and various labor unions, who criticize the government’s handling of the situation and its impact on the poor and vulnerable segments of the population.