Petrol Prices in Nigeria Jump 230.8% in One Year
By Adedapo Adesanya
The average price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, surged by 230.8 per cent on a year-to-year basis to N626.70 per litre in August 2023 versus N189.46 per litre in the same period of 2022.
This is according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch (August 2023), which showed that the average retail price increased on a month-on-month basis by 4.39 per cent from N600.3 per litre in July.
The skyrocketing cost of petrol came as President Bola Tinubu, during his inauguration speech on May 29, announced an end to the payment of subsidy on petrol.
It was said that subsidy payments gulped N4.3 trillion alone in 2022. The immediate past government of Mr Muhammadu Buhari did not make provisions for the payment beyond June 30, 2023, in the budget.
The announcement by Mr Tinubu caused an instant surge of over 40 per cent, creating a ripple effect in other basic needs like food, shelter, and other transportation alternatives over demand increase.
He defended his decision to scrap the fuel subsidy, saying it only benefited a few so-called elites, noting that the country has saved over N1 trillion to expend on healthcare, education, and industry.
The removal of fuel subsidies meant that the prices of petrol prices were at the mercy of market forces.
Although the country has been able to keep a lid on increasing prices in recent months through what could be a partial subsidy, the latest development in the international oil market, with prices trading above $90 per barrel could force an uptick in price review
According to the NBS, in terms of state profile analysis, Taraba State had the highest average retail price for petrol in August at N680.00, Borno and Benue States were next, with N657.27 and N649.14, respectively. On the other side, Adamawa, Rivers and Delta States had the lowest average retail prices for fuel at N594.81, N596.80 and N604.63, respectively.
Meanwhile, on the Zonal profile, the North-East Zone had the highest average retail price of N636.93, while the South-South Zone had the lowest price of N616.95.