Motorists and commuters in Ibadan have expressed shock over the new pump prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, announced on Tuesday by Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPCL).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NNPCL had, on Tuesday morning, announced the adjustment of the pump price of petrol from N539 per litre to N617 per litre, saying this was in response to market realities.
A NAN correspondent, who moved around Ibadan metropolis, observed that as the news of the fuel price increase filtered out, some filling stations hurriedly closed shop, with their managers saying that they were awaiting further directives from the authorities.
NAN also reports that the few filling stations that were selling the product witnessed long queues of vehicles, while they were selling for between N560 and N650 per litre.
A motorist, Mr Anu Alani, said he woke up on Tuesday to see that many filling stations were not opened for business and those who were selling increased their price to N650 per litre.
“I was thinking that when I go farther, I would see where I could buy fuel at the normal price but I didn’t. I don’t know what to do again as the economic situation is already bad,” Alani said.
Another motorist, Mrs Ayoola Olaoba, said that she would have to find a means of leaving the country, as things did not look like it would get better soon.
“I bought fuel some days ago at N520 only for me to see some of my colleagues saying it has increased to N620. I said just like that! I do not think I can continue with the uncertainty trailing the present economic situation,” she said.
A commercial motorist, Mr Gbenga Oriowo, said that the new price would definitely have an attendant effect on transport fares.
“I am still in queue now and there is little or no probability that I will get fuel, and even if I get it, I cannot but increase the transport fare. We will all have to bear the situation,” he said.
Oriowo said that government needed to explain to Nigerians what was going on and the rationale behind the new price regime.
Another motorist, Mrs Funmi Alli, said some major marketers had closed their filling stations, saying that this had contributed to long queues where the fuel was available.
She expressed the fear that the fuel price increase would have spiral effect on food prices and every other thing, which might increase the hardship already being faced by Nigerians.
There had been speculations that fuel price might go up to N700, though it was debunked by stakeholders in the petroleum sector.