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Nigerian roads freer as fuel consumption drops significantly -Report

Vehicular Traffic in Lagos Prior to Fuel Subsidy Removal

*A recent market survey has revealed Nigerian consumers are buying less Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, while numbers of cars on the roads are reducing greatly, costs of the petroleum product are not, as several business owners have converted their generators to gas-powered generators

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government recently revealed the volume of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, consumed by motorists June 2023, in Nigeria, had reduced significantly, by at least 18.5 million litres daily.

A latest survey, however, has suggested the official data for July this year, and the coming months will likely show a further reduction in PMS consumption.

According to a survey, Nigerians are buying even less, while the number of cars on the roads are also reducing, Leadership report stated.

Fuel station attendants also, have related how their volume of sales compared to previous months, as several motorists have decided to park their vehicles because of the high cost of petrol in the country’s economy.

It is noted the government stated the volume of petrol consumed in the first half of 2023 across Nigeria was 11.26 billion litres.

Report, however, indicated that after the removal of subsidy on petrol, following the pronouncement by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu May 29, 2023, PMS consumption reduced by an average of about 18.5 million litres daily June.

Most analysts blamed the reduction in consumption on petrol that is usually smuggled out to neighbouring countries, including Benin Republic, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and even Togo due the price difference of the product in Nigeria and its neighbours.

In June, petrol sold for average N540 per litre but since July 17 this year, the price has been over N617 per litre in most states of the country.

How much is petrol per litre?

ConsumerConnect checks in a number of filling stations at the weekend, in Ogun State, nonetheless, revealed that PMS was sold for average of N580 per litre.

Yet, recent reports said that an increased number of motorists had abandoned their cars according to

The Nigerian Government is, however, yet to release any data on fuel consumption in the second half of the month of July when it increased PMS price to N617 per litre.

But the testimony from some of Nigeria’s 7,000 filling stations suggest a downward trend, according to report.

Nevertheless, data from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in Abuja, showed between January 1 and May 28, 2023, which was the pre-deregulation period, the total amount of petrol consumed nationwide was about 9.9 billion litres.

The document noted the average consumption for the 148-day period was put at 66.9 million litres, indicating the country consumed an average of 66.9 million litres of petrol daily during the five-month period when subsidy on petrol was still in place.

Figures from the market regulatory agency indicated that between June 1 and June 28, which was described as the post-deregulation period, the total petrol consumption across the country was 1.36 billion litres, while the average daily consumption was put at 48.43 million litres.

Analysis of the data indicated that the difference between the average monthly consumption figures during the pre-deregulation and post-deregulation periods was about 18.5 million litres.

By implication, the average daily consumption of petrol across the country reduced by about 18.5 million litres after subsidy on commodity was stopped by the Federal Government.

It was, however, observed that petrol consumption rose above 100 million litres in some days, while it fell to below 10 million litres in few other days.

A random pick of petrol consumption figures contained in the NMDPRA report, for instance, showed that March 8, April 20, and May 16, Nigerians consumed 103.6 million litres, 105.02 million litres, and 101.9 million litres respectively.

These were during the ore-deregulation days, as figures from the post-deregulation period indicated that the country never consumed beyond 78.84 million litres all through the 28-day period captured in the document.

Besides, the 78.84 million litres was consumed on June 20, and it was the highest consumption figure during the post-deregulation period, while the lowest figure during the same period was the 470,000 litres that was consumed nationwide June 11.

Investigation also indicated that in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, showed that most of the filling stations littered across the length and breadth of the Rivers State capital, are experiencing low patronage, report noted.

Visits to some of the major filling stations, which before the removal of the fuel subsidy, were recording more than 1,000 vehicles in a day, can no longer boast of even 100 vehicles in a day.

A Manager, simply identified as Madam Rose, one of the filling stations located along Aba Road, in Port Harcourt, said: “Since the removal of the subsidy, the number of vehicles that come to buy fuel from our station has reduced drastically.

She explained: “We used to attend to no fewer than 1000 vehicles everyday considering the strategic location of our station, but now, we don’t even record up to 100 vehicles in a day.

“You can see that we have been standing here for the past 10 minutes and only 2 vehicles have come in to buy fuel. It is really affecting us.”

Why many car owners are embracing public transport

Similarly, checks revealed that several car owners in the Rivers State capital, have resorted to trekking and using public transport to get to their destinations and only use their cars occasionally.

Uchenna Nelson, a car owner, resident in the Borokiri axis of the city, reportedly said he decided to park his car and started joining public transport because he found out that it was cheaper to do so.

Nelson said: “After looking at the whole thing, I found out that it is cheaper for me to park my car and join public transport to wherever I am going. I cannot afford to be buying fuel at almost ₦600 per litre. How much do I make in a month?”

Commenting on the development in the Nigerian economy, Juliana Eni, Sector Public Education Officer (SPEO) of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in Rivers State, also confirmed that the number of vehicles on the roads had reduced drastically.

Eni said: “Definitely, if you go to the road now, you will find out that the volume of traffic was not as it used to be before.

“It’s like a lot of people have parked their vehicles and started entering public vehicles.

“That is why there is not much traffic on the road right now. The hike in fuel price has really forced a lot of vehicles out of the road.”

Likewise, residents of Kaduna State are also being forced to park their vehicles at home and explore the use of commercial vehicles to their work and business places, according to report.

Some filling stations are lamenting very low patronage since the increase in fuel pump price as a result of the subsidy removal, report stated.

At NNPCL and Total stations, report said the fuel pump attendants were found sleeping over lack of patronage.

Upon enquiry, some of the attendants who spoke on the matter, but didn’t want their names mentioned chorused “Oga as market no dey, no be to sleep?”

At times you will only see 2 or 3 vehicles in an hour unlike what it used to be before the increase in pump price.”

One the managers of the stations said, “33,000 litres of PMS, when it was selling for 194 finished in less than three days but now, hardly will it finish in three weeks.

“The situation is biting hard and might force us to reduce our work force with time if it persists.”

Fuel consumption has greatly reduced, says report

Malam Mohammed Abdullahi said, a resident, said he had to park his vehicle and use public transport pending the time the fuel situation would  improve.

Abdullahi affirmed that ge had tried to use his vehicle for a month within which he was buying fuel worth N10,000 every three days; a situation he said, he couldn’t sustain and had to resort to using public transport to his place of work.

For Mrs. Margret Isaiah,  “The situation is really telling on us particularly when we have to do school-runs.

“In a week we buy fuel for not less than N20,000 taking the children to and froM school.

“The government should kindly consider reverting to status quo to ameliorate the suffering people are passing through now.”

A Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) officer on the Kaduna-Abuja high way who said he has no mandate to speak officially, however, confirmed that vehicular movements particularly private vehicles has drastically reduced apparently because of the hike of fuel pump price, adding that even the commercial vehicles are complaining of low patronage because most people who have needs to travel cannot afford the transport fare.

In Imo State, fuel consumption has greatly reduced as people only buy for important use.

Several business owners have converted their generators to gas powered generators.

The Manager of an NNPC outlet, who also pleaded anonymity, said their customers had reduced though the cost has not.

The Manager disclosed that most people buy about 10 litres at N5,950 while some buy less quantity, adding that the number of people that drive in with children has greatly reduced.

A parent also revealed that he drives his children to school and parks there then goes to work with public transport.

‘No more traffic congestion’ -FRSC officials

Findings further showed that there are no more traffic congestions at certain busy junctions, such as Warehouse Junction, Fire Service, and Control Post.

State Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Evaristus Ebeniro said there were fewer vehicles on the roads, adding that many people had parked their cars.

A visit to BGR filling station also confirmed our correspondent’s observation as filling station attendants were seen idling away.

The station manager, Mrs. Joy Uzoma stressed that since the increase in the price of fuel, they have been experiencing low patronage.

According to her, they find it difficult to meet their target as the turnover ratio is nothing to write home about.

Mrs. Uzoma highlighted that for now, they are not able to meet running cost and the payment of salary is a challenge to the organisation.

In his contribution, a vehicle owner, Prince John Okoronta stressed that he has parked the car and focuses on his immediate needs of making ends meet and feeding the family.

According to him, he needs to survive before embarking on the luxury of fueling the car. Prince Okoronta appealed to the Federal Government to find a way to reduce the price of fuel as the poor masses are suffering.

Motorists level of patronage in petrol stations has drastically reduced in Sokoto metropolis since the sudden removal of subsidy on petrol by the Federal Government.

Petrol station attendants disclosed to our correspondent that, sales have really dropped.

A cross-section of the attendants as well noted that since the removal of petrol subsidy and increase in pump price of fuel, hardly do motorists fill their fuel tanks like they used to do during fuel subsidy regime.

Some said, it took their customers who usually filled their fuel tanks, days, before they see them at their filling stations again.

“The reality is that, the removal of subsidy on petrol is bitting hard on Nigerians. Our sales have actually reduced,” they submitted.

Going forward

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has blamed the failure of the government to fix the country’s refineries on some cabals owning international refineries to the detriment of Nigerians.

Dr. Joseph Obele, IPMAN Chairman in Rivers State,  in a statement, said said the effect of globalisation on a local economy could be minimised where crude production is done locally.

Obele maintained that the government has refused to address the root cause of the continuous rise in Crude oil increment by fixing Nigeria’s refineries.

No palliative is better than fixing the country’s refineries.

“OPEC has projected that the recent aggression of Russia war in Ukraine will cut production of member nations and push the price of Crude oil higher.

“Price of PMS in Nigeria saw a sudden rise above N500 per litre on 29th May when Mr President announced subsidy removal.

“A few days later, crude oil was increased in the international market by $5; the Nigeria PMS price also increased above N600 per litre.

“On Monday, 24th July 2023, there was a significant increment to the price of Crude oil in the international market to $85.8 per barrel, and the indicators for further rapid increase are imminent.”[do_widget id=heateor_sss_sharing-2]




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