‘We can’t keep feeding our cars when we are hungry’ – Motorists
Nigeria’s minister of state for Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) past Group Managing Director, Ibe Kachikwu has said the consumption of petrol in the country has dropped by 30 percent following the partial deregulation of the downstream sector in May, 2016.
Kachikwu made this statement when speaking in Abuja on Friday, July 8, 2016, while handing over to Maikanti Baru, the newly appointed GMD of the NNPC.
“Today, our consumption of fuel has gone down by 30 per cent, we have no queues in the filling stations, we have one and half months of self sufficiency, we have strategic reserves in place that we are putting together and we have a funding scheme to enable the downstream to be able to adequately fund itself”, he said.
“I am happy to announce that in our May results, for the first time in the history of this company, the NNPC made a profit of N270 million”’.
ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with motorists on the drop in petrol consumption. In the chat, many revealed to us their challenges since the deregulation of the sector which led to the N145 official pump price for the product.
MRS. TAIWO ODUKOYA
Since the increase I’ve reduced by far the rate at which I use the product. At N87 per litre, N500 could buy me four litres and I’ll have extra money. But at N145 per litre, three litres is already N500 and will run my generator in less time.
The economic situation of the country is terrible, I don’t even think about my car anymore because I can’t afford to buy petrol at N145 per litre to run the car. I have parked my car until the product is affordable.
It’s normal to experience a drop in the consumption of the product. Since the increase, I no longer buy petrol like I used to do. It’s not that I don’t need the product but I have to economize what I have. There’s no constant power supply.
I’m a graphic designer. In two weeks, there was no electricity in my area. I have been less productive, I don’t have option than to manage the rate at which I purchase petrol. I never supported the deregulation of the sector. I just hope the product becomes affordable and convenient for Nigerians to buy.
When the new pump price was announced, I called my wife and made my intention known that I can only afford N15,000 monthly on fuel. Including our cars and generator, I know N15,000 fuel can’t even carry my car for a week but I don’t have option.
I can’t keep spending on petrol while I have other issues to attend to. Most of my colleagues did same in the spirit of cost cutting. No room for big spending.
When prices rise, demand drops. Let them increase it to N200 and you all will see what happens. Consumption stimulates economic growth. This is not good news in any way. It’s affecting every Nigerian. We are going through a hard time, especially those who use the product everyday to earn a living.
I personally don’t use the product like I used to do, I have gradually reduced the rate at which I purchase the product. I don’t use my car very often nowadays. I prefer commercial buses.
Basically, judging from my locality I don’t think that there is much drop in how people buy fuel. The same lifestyle persists even though there is hardship, the bottomline is that the 30 percent and more reduction to come is as a result of bogus claims from marketers who are bent on exploiting the subsidy system. Let’s look beyond sentiments and analyse issues properly.
A lot of people are still buying the product even more than before. The less privileged are lamenting hardship when the rich are not affected. So, where is the 30 percent reduction in consumption coming from. I don’t believe it. I still use my car frequently because I need it for my survival.
True, many people can’t cope with the new price. The hardship in the country isn’t helping issues. Many people have parked their vehicles and are now using public transport, including myself, I find it very hard to fuel my car these days.
The Federal Government needs to help the masses. They told us that the idea is to create competition so we can buy petrol at a lesser price but its not working that way. No filling station is selling the product less that N145. The masses are suffering while our leaders are not feeling the pain.
The same problem will persist for years until we are able to fight for our right in this country.
The consumption must definitely drop. I have parked my car, two of my neighbours have also parked theirs, one sold his wife’s car. What our President failed to understand is that everything in this country runs on fuel, The barber, the restaurant, manufacturing industries, even government offices.
We are not producing anything in this country and the government is urging us to purchase made in Nigeria products. It’s funny, I think. Like I tell my friends, we have to develop the habit of praying for Nigeria. The country needs prayer.
30 percent drop in consumption of fuel is a direct hit on the country’s GDP and overall economic well being of the nation. It simply means we are heading into recession. The drop in consumption is just as a result of the N145 official pump price.
The issues that baffles me about this development is that it doesn’t affect the rich, only the poor are lamenting because we are struggling hard daily to put food on our table. Buying fuel at such outrageous amount is hard. I don’t use both my car and my generator anymore.
I told a friend yesterday that I want to sell off my car, he thought I was joking but its the truth. Our government needs to help us out of the situation.
Demand does not just drop drastically this way because of increase in pump price. Petroleum price has always been higher than N100 in most parts of the country even when government was subsidizing it.
I see little change in the lifestyle of most Nigerians as regard their previous fuel consumption.
My family run a petrol station and our current total daily sales per litre has always averaged as that of several months back. The question to ask is why is the product suddenly available nationwide. I still don’t understand. It baffles me.
- OLUWAFEMI SOEWU