Consumers condemn hike in  price of kerosene

-Litre of kerosene now sells above N83

The Federal Government, on Sunday, January 24, 2016, hiked the price of kerosene to N83 per litre from N50 per litre in order to implement the removal of kerosene subsidy, according to the latest pricing template of household kerosene released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulating Agency (PPPRA).

The agency stated that the N83 per litre price applied only to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) outlets. The template also showed that at N83, the Federal Government will be making a gain of N10.72 on every litre.

It further put the expected open market price, which is the landing cost plus total margin cost at N72.28 per litre. The expected is the prevailing open market rate for the product after taking certain cost into consideration. Giving a breakdown of the price, the PPRA template put a landing cost of the product at N57.98 per litre, while the total margin due middlemen was put at N14.30. The retailers margin was put at N5 per litre, transporters at N3.05 per litre and dealers at N1.95 per litre.

It further put the bridging fund at N5.85 per litre, transport average at N0.15 and administrative charges of N0.15.

It stated that the official ex-depot, which depot owners would sell to marketers, is N68.70 per litre. The official ex-depot price for collection is N73 per litre, while ex-coastal price is N68 .02 per litre. The official price difference is not expected to matter much to millions of poor Nigerians who are used to buying the product at N100 per litre.

ENCOMIUM Weekly, on Thursday, January 28, 2016, visited filling stations to know how they handle the situation, if they are pleased with the removal of subsidy on kerosene.

At 10:20 am on Thursday, January 28, 2016, ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) filling station at Abule Egba, off Abule Taylor Street, Lagos, where we spoke to the kerosene attendant who pleaded anonymity. He said, “There has not been any change in the price of kerosene here. We are still selling for N50 per litre and there has been no queue. People come, buy and leave.”

On Saturday, January 30, 2016, ENCOMIUM Weekly visited independent filling stations.

At 1:43 pm, we were at a filing station formerly known as Taram Filling Station at Yaya Abatan Street, Ogba, Lagos. We spoke to the kerosene attendant, Simeon. He said, “We sell at N120 per litre as an independent marketer but we find it difficult to buy at the depot.”

He added that he would prefer the government to bring back subsidy on kerosene so that there would be a uniform pump price because some filling stations even sell at N150 per litre without thinking of the poor Nigerians that cannot afford this household commodity because of the ridiculous price some other independent filing stations sell theirs.

At 2:10pm, ENCOMIUM Weekly visited Oando filling station, at Ogunnusi Road, Ogba, Lagos. We had a chat with the manager, Tosin to know how they have been coping with the removal of subsidy on kerosene and the restriction of N83 per litre of kerosene to only NNPC filling stations. He said, “Removing subsidy is better because when there was subsidy, it was difficult. This is because people at the depot refused to sell to independent filling stations and marketers. As the subsidy has been removed, we can buy as we like and sell,”

He added, “The removal of subsidy will bring competition and marketers will be able to make more money, but we sell for N120 per litre. It has not been difficult for consumers to buy kerosene and we have not experienced any queue.

“He even said that the NNPC that has been ordered to sell at N83 per litre has not been selling because they have not supplied kerosene to them.

At 2:59pm, ENCOMIUM Weekly visited NNPC at Obagundi Road, Agege, Lagos. We spoke to the manger, Bayo who said, “It has been over four months the filling station sold kerosene because NNPC depot has not supplied to his branch. He is aware of the removal of subsidy and the regulation of the new pump price of kerosene”

ENCOMIUM Weekly also spoke to people who use kerosene and how they have been coping with the hike and how the removal of subsidy has been affecting them.

Mrs. Samson, a housewife and businesswoman said, “I bought at N50 per litre but that was in December 2015 and the long queue she met is nothing to write home about. “That is why she decided to buy at independent filling stations like Adonai filling station at Ogba, Lagos, for N120 per litre. “There was no queue though it was expensive.”

Mrs. Tajudeen, a house wife and a petty trader said she has been buying from tankers and independent filling stations without minding the cost because that is the only means of survival for her and her family. She said since the government has removed subsidy from kerosene, she will not say she will not cook for her husband. So, she had to buy, no matter how expensive it is.

Mrs. Aliu Zainab, a full-time housewife, who couldn’t hold her frustration complained about the government being unfair with the kerosene subsidy. She said, “I am a full housewife and my husband is a bike man. With this ridiculous price of kerosene, how will me and my children survive? The government should talk to independent marketers to sell at an affordable price and even NNPC that government said will sell at N83 per litre is not selling, because they do not have kerosene.” She pleaded with the government to do something about the situation.

Mrs. Ngozi Anazike said, “I have been buying at N120 per litre even before the removal of subsidy. I have never bought for N50 per litre before the removal of subsidy. So, I try as much as possible to manage the situation and buy what I can afford because my family and I cannot eat raw food. So, we have to eat good food for survival.”

Mrs. Bello, a housewife, said, “I have been coping with the situation since the removal of subsidy. NNPC filling stations have refused to sell so, I am left with no choice than to buy from filling stations selling at N120 per litre. The good thing is there is no queue and it makes it less stressful for people like us that use kerosene.”

With the situation of things, Nigerians seem not to be comfortable with the hike in price of kerosene. And if the situation persists, it is likely to affect the feeding habit of the poor masses who are direct end users of this product, so the government should make available kerosene to all NNPC stations at an affordable price so that the masses can be able to benefit from it and also break the monopoly of independent marketers.




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