Subsidy Removal: Fuel Queues Return Nationwide

The nation’s fuel supply and distribution matrix is currently being challenged by the incidence of artificial induced scarcity due to the apprehension generated by the removal of subsidy as announced by the newly installed President Bola Tinubu.

President Tinubu, shortly after his Inauguration as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Monday, announced that “subsidy is gone”.

TheFact Daily gathered that the queues started mounting immediately after the pronouncement as motorists were seen scampering for the product in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

While filling stations operated by major marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) were selling between N194 and N195 per litre, other outlets operated by independent marketers were dispensing the product between N250 and 270 per litre.

A Filling station like, ‘Normal’ in Markurdi, the Benue State Capital is selling the product for as high as N250 per litre. While, others in Ajah, part of Lagos State were selling as high as N270 per litre.

Tinubu in his inaugural speech commended the past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for phasing out the petrol subsidy regime.

He noted that the subsidy regime increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor, therefore, the funds would be re-channeled to better the lives of million Nigerians.

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.

“We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions”, Tinubu said.

Meanwhile, the NNPC Limited welcomes the decision by the Federal Government to remove subsidies on PMS.

The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari while addressing the press in Abuja, noted that the removal of the subsidy, which has been a burden on NNPC Limited’s cash flow, would free up funds to enable optimal operations within the company.

Reacting to the scarcity already being experienced, he assured Nigerians of a sufficient supply of the product. NNPC Limited is also monitoring all its distribution networks to ensure compliance.

Corroborating NNPCL, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said, contrary to speculations and concerns, the announcement was in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (2021) which provides for total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to drive investment and growth.

NMDPRA said, it was working closely with NNPC Limited and other key stakeholders to guarantee a smooth transition, avoid supply disruptions, and ensure that consumers are not shortchanged in any form.

The Authority assures that there was ample supply of PMS to meet demand as they have taken necessary steps to ensure distribution channels remain uninterrupted and fuel readily available at all filling stations across the country.

The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Kimchi Apollo in a statement, therefore, called on “Nigerians to remain calm and resist the urge to stockpile as it poses a significant safety hazard. In the same vein, operators are advised to refrain from hoarding petrol and causing hardship”.

The NMDPRA reassures all Nigerians that the removal of subsidy on PMS was a step towards building a more sustainable and prosperous future for the nation.

“We will continue to monitor activities and implement necessary measures to enhance transparency and accountability in the petroleum downstream sector”, it said.

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