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Fuel Subsidy Removal Shoots Transportation Cost by 50% Around Lagos

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CEM REPORT, TRANSPORTATION | Transportation in Lagos today struck at least a 50 per cent increase leaving several commuters stranded.

The increase can be attributed to the statement of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during his inauguration yesterday over the complete removal of fuel subsidies.

CEM reports that public transporter along Merian to Iyana-Ipaja charged ₦500 instead of ₦200 and charged ₦1,000 to Oshodi instead of ₦500.

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From Sango to Oshodi which was previously ₦500 was charged between ₦1,500 to ₦2,000, to Iyana-Ipaja and Agege transporter charged between ₦700 and ₦1,000 instead of ₦500.

The fuel stations that were willing to sell in the area sold a litre of fuel for ₦500, while others stayed shut.

Longer queues were seen at BRT stands and bus stops as commuters could not afford private-public transportation. However, the buses available were not so sufficient to tend to the emerging crowd.

Report reaching this magazine also confirms similar increase in different parts of Lagos.

Recall that CEM reported that the President declared that his administration will not entertain fuel subsidies. He noted that the outgoing administration had already made the provision for the removal of fuel subsidy which his administration will follow through.

He added that his administration will instead redirect the subsidy funds to other sectors of the economy.

“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.”

Presidency Responses

The presidency on its part has responded to the present situation noting that the subsidy removal is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration.

In a statement on Twitter, he said he merely communicated the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.

“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the Federal Government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination. The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect.

“Furthermore, President Tinubu was clear about his plans to re-channel the funds previously devoted to the payment of subsidies into better investments that will cushion the effects of the removal on the general public, especially the poor of the poor. This includes but is not limited to investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and increase their earning potential,” the statement said.

NNPCL Responses

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) reacting on its part noted that the removal of the subsidy which had been a burden on NNPC’s cash flow, would free up funds to enable optimal operations in the company.

“Subsidy has been a major challenge for NNPC’s continuous operations. We believe that this will free up resources to enable us to continue to do great work and function as a commercial entity, we welcome this development,’’ Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari said.

The GCEO assured sufficient supply of products particularly fuel, adding that the company has over 30 days of petrol storage and supply.

According to him, NNPC Ltd. is also monitoring all its distribution networks to ensure compliance.

“The NNPC Ltd. is in discussion with the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to develop a framework for the implementation of the removal of the PMS subsidy as announced by the president.

“There is no reason to panic, we understand that people will be scared of potential changes in the price of petrol, but that is not enough for people to rush to buy more than they need,’’ he added.

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