Amid continuing debate on whether or not the Federal Government should remove fuel subsidy, Nigerians backing the proposal may have support if the result of the opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls in March 2015 is anything to go by.
A new poll on fuel scarcity and its direct effects on Nigerians revealed that more than 90 percent of those who buy petrol, do so at prices above the official ₦87 per litre.
The poll, published Tuesday, sought to measure the level of awareness of Nigerians on the country’s fuel supply situation, particularly its impact on consumers and products pricing.
Details of the study showed that the country’s current national average price per litre of petrol stood at about ₦114, with consumers in the North-Eastern zone of the country paying the highest price ₦129 per litre.
Further breakdown of the findings showed that In the North-West, 96 percent of consumers buy the commodity at an average price of N124 per litre, while 96 percent of consumers in the South-East buy at an average of N105 per litre.
About 92 percent of consumers in South-South zone buy fuel at an average of N110 per litre, compared to 88 percent of consumers in the North Central, who buy fuel at N116 per litre average price.
While 72 percent of respondents said they were aware of the recent nationwide fuel supply crisis, 28 per cent thought otherwise.
On geo-political zones basis, the poll showed that the North-Western part of the country has the highest awareness rate about fuel scarcity (83 percent), followed by North East (78 percent) and North Central (77 percent), while South-East and South-South recorded 66 percent each, and South-East (53 percent).
The report showed that South-East zone accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who showed no awareness of the crisis (47 percent), suggesting a less severe occurrence of the fuel scarcity in that area.
On the direct impact of fuel scarcity on the people, the poll showed that most Nigerians (48 percent) suffer the effect of increase in transport fares, while 17 percent spoke of the waste of time they suffer on queue and increase in expenses, among other effects of the petrol scarcity on consumers.
While majority of Nigerians in all geo-political zones said they were affected by increase in transport fare, the poll showed that those in the North-Central zone (59 percent) and North-East (57 percent) zones were affected the most.
Meanwhile, although the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) recently restated its opposition against the removal of fuel subsidy, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said on Tuesday all forms of subsidies on petroleum products must be abolished, as the policy has been abused to the detriment of the ordinary Nigerian.
The North West Zonal Chairman of the IPMAN, Lawan Danzaki, also asked the incoming government to consider scraping the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), as it was a duplication of NNPC’s function.
Citing the example of kerosene where the NNPC, for a long time, was directed to sell at N50 per litre, Mr. Danzaki said no filling station, not even the NNPC mega stations, has been able to get the commodity at that price.