Residents of Enugu State on Thursday berated the federal government for the removal of subsidy on petrol which has consequently increased the price of the product from N86.50k to N145.00.
The organised labour in the state has equally expressed its opposition to the new price regime, insisting that it would impose further hardship on the people.
Also, most filling stations within the metropolis had adjusted to the new price, while a number of independent marketers sold at N155.00 yesterday afternoon.
However, most major stations owned by major marketers remained under lock and key as they claimed that they were still studying the situation resulting to large queues in most places.
While the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Virginus Nwobodo, said the organisation had already fixed an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja today, his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Chukwuma Igbokwe, said its NEC has equally fixed for Lagos same day to appraise the situation.
Fuel is N250 a Litre in Kogi, N160 in Bayelsa
Following the removal of subsidy on petrol by the federal government, petrol stations in Lokoja, Kogi State are now selling at the rate of N200 and N250 per litre while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stations are selling at N145 per litter.
When THISDAY visited most petrol stations yesterday, only few of them open to customers while others, despite the fact that they have fuel, refused to sell.
The only petrol station selling along Felele-Abuja road was selling at N200 a litre with long queue as motorists wait patiently to buy fuel.
In Bayelsa, many filling stations did not have the product to dispense. But a few of them who were selling fuel sold for between N145 and N160.
Interestingly, some of those that were selling for between N120 and N130 before the new government policy immediately adjusted their metres to reflect the new price.
While some of the station attendants said that the new directive by the government would make the product available, customers bemoaned the fresh hardship occasioned by the new price.
Residents Reject Petrol at N145 in Kwara, Benue, Osun
Residents of Kwara, Benue and Osun States, including motorists, teachers and other workers, have rejected the new price regime of petrol which is N145 per liter announced by the federal government.
They however advised the government to reverse to the old price of N86.50 per liter without further delay.
Also yesterday, some of the fuel stations in the states that had been closed for almost three months with the excuse that there had no fuel, opened for business for motorists due to the increase in the price of fuel.
New Fuel Pump Price Takes off Shakily in Minna
The implementation of the new pump price of petroleum introduced by the federal government took off yesterday on a shaky note in Niger State with most of the fuel outlets not dispensing fuel to motorists.
Only the NNPC mega station in the outskirt of the state capital, Minna, and two major marketers, Total and Oando, sold fuel to motorists at N145 per liter while others did so between N15 and N160 per litre.
A survey by THISDAY in Minna revealed that independent marketers were either hoarding the commodity or were deliberately refusing to sell to the public.
There were long queues at the NNPC mega station and the three other stations dispensing fuel to motorists the survey showed.
The Chairman of state IPMAN, Alhaji Adamu Erena, told THISDAY that the increase in the pump price of fuel was unjustifiable, adding that what IPMAN expected was total removal of subsidy from petroleum products not pump price increase.
New state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Tanko Beji, described the development as “very sad,” adding that the policy would inflict pains on majority of Nigerians. “I leave the rest to Nigerians to judge the fuel situation in the country which is very bad, and will make things worse,” he said.
HURIWA Says Action Reckless, Insensitive
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the federal government for increasing the pump price of fuel to N145 per liter, describing the action as reckless, insensitive, irrational and meant to inflict maximum financial burden on the already impoverished Nigerians.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko, he said the action of government was capable of increasing social crimes and unrests.
The rights group accused government of failing to properly and transparently administer the fuel subsidy policy and wondered why Nigerians could be made to suffer for the financial indiscretions of the elites who stole nearly trillions of naira from the subsidy fund over the past few years.
Fuel Stations Adjust Meters in Edo, Oyo, Ogun
Petrol station across Edo State have immediately adjusted to the new price fuel pump price of N145 per liter yesterday from the N86 previously sold by NNPC mega station and its franchise and N86.50 by major and independent marketers.
THISDAY check in Benin-City revealed that immediately the new price was announced on Wednesday, fuel stations which were selling their products between N110 and N130 quickly adjusted their meters to reflect the new price.
In Oyo State, bboth major marketers and their independent petroleum marketers counterparts in Oyo State yesterday effected the new pump price of petrol.
Subsequently, queues have deserted as motorists no longer wait several hours to get the commodity.
There is however a hike in transportation cost as against what was obtainable in most of the motor parks visited before the new announcement.
The fares in both inter-city and intra-city motor parks has gone up by at least 50 per cent.
According to THISDAY checks, a short distance within Ibadan which previously costs N50 now goes for between N70 and N80.
In Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, marketers complied with the directed hike in the pump price of petrol announced by the federal government.
Filling stations visited adjusted their pump price to the new price in the state.
The long queues at filling stations in the state have reduced drastically, while the cost of transportation increased as most taxi operators raised their prices by 100 per cent.
Group Frowns over FG’s Action
The Centre for Global Solutions and Sustainable Development (CENGSSUD), has frowned at the level of insensitivity displayed by the federal government with the sudden hike in the price of petrol from N86.50 to N145.
The group stated that despite the long-term economic benefits derivable from the removal of subsidy and the moves to block financial insanities and looting by the few ‘cabals’, the timing and manner in which the action was carried out was not appropriate.
The group explained that fuel subsidy was one of the most sensitive and controversial issues in Nigeria, therefore if it must be removed, it should not be sudden or done in isolation.
It added that the action was carried out without wide consultations and adequate p ublic enlightenments of the masses in order to properly educate them, “this would likely have immediate negative impacts on their lives.”