‘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 lead to the N145 official pump price for the product.
MOSES AKINDELE – I’m not surprised hearing that the consumption of petrol has dropped by 30 percent. The drop should be more than that I think because Nigerians no longer use the product like they used to do. For instance, I use 50 litres or more for my car and generator before in a week, not anymore.
I can’t afford to buy 50litres of petrol today because it’s just too expensive. Although Nigerians pretend like they are used to the situation but it’s actually unbearable for many.
IBRAHIM SHARAFA (Taxi driver) – The N145 pump price for petrol is like a burden to many of us. I no longer buy petrol like I used to do before now. When the price of petrol was N86, we never appreciated it. Now, I know there’s a clear difference between the old pump price and the new one. Some filling stations now sell for N140, we pray the competition gets stronger so the price can be affordable.
EMEKA BENSON – I personally think Ibe Kachikwu understands the system than the president himself. Nigeria is not the only country buying fuel at outrageous amount, Ghana do too. In fact, the amount Ghana buys a litre of petrol is higher than Nigeria.
Before the subsidy removal, I told people that this is the only way to regulate the system. Although the price affected middle class Nigerians, including myself, I have learnt to keep my car at home. I drive in my car only on special occasions.
DOLAPO JAIYE – The 30 percent drop in the consumption of petrol is normal, people are forced to learn to manage the product. Only few people put on the generator for the whole night. I have also learnt to manage the usage of petrol, I keep my car at home when I’m broke. I can’t keep feeding my car while I’m hungry. I believe the system is taking shape. We just hope the price becomes affordable soon.
WASIU OYELADE (Commercial bus driver) – We are coping with the situation day by day, I don’t buy petrol unlike before when we will have enough petrol to work throughout the day till late hours. These days, we need to work for a while, take a break and resume in the evening.
The pump price is too much but we are learning new approach to maintaining the product daily.
RACHAEL OKEKE – The drop in the consumption of the product isn’t something bad, all we keep hoping for is the price to be affordable for everyone. I have a friend who’s a fashion designer, she keeps complaining that the petrol she exhausts daily is too much and the product isn’t getting cheaper.
Now, she no longer puts on her generator, she only hopes on Lagos DISCO to supply electricity so she can do her job. Me, myself I had some challenges last week when I had to leave my car at home for about five days just because I couldn’t afford to buy petrol for N145 per litre. I have learnt to economize the product, I no longer use my car while I’m in the office. Once I park my car in the morning, I take commercial buses to wherever I’m going during the day. I now buy petrol that will take me to office and drive me back home. In fact, it’s been a while that I used my generator. That’s the truth (laughs).
ADENIYI AJAYI – There should be a drop in the consumption of the product, people no longer buy it unlike before, that’s why we no longer see queues at filling stations. Petrol is now sold officially like black market. I have learn to adapt to the situation anyway, I don’t use my car air condition anymore because it consumes more fuel.
I have reduced the number of places that I drive to, I have scheduled a particular time when to power my generator, unlike before when my children can power it even when I’m not around. The Federal Government should create more policies that will make the product affordable and available for every Nigerian.