Daily, the volume of petrol, which is also known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), used by motorists reduced by 18.5 million litres daily in June, according to the federal government. The survey showed that there would be a reduction of PMS in July and the next months because people are purchasing less, leading to a decrease in cars on the roads. Based on data, the Federal Government stated that 11.26 billion liters of PMS were used in the first half of 2023, in Nigeria. The usage of PMS was reduced, after the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy on May 29 this year by President Bola Tinubu.
Many analysts faulted the decrease in consumption on PMS which is frequently smuggled to neighbouring countries like Togo, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic as a result of the different prices of the commodity in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. The price for petrol in June was N540 per litre, but there was an increase in July 17 this year to the rate of N617 in most of the states in Nigeria. Data gotten from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Abuja, revealed that 9.9 billion litres was the total amount of PMS used across the country between January 1st and May 28th 2023 which was the period of pre-deregulation.
Post-deregulation days report showed that consumption was 78.84M litres.
According to the data, 66.9 million litres of PMS was the average consumption between the 148-day period, showing that half of 66.9 million of litres was used daily when the subsidy on PMS was still on within the period of five months. However, the Federal Government gave a different data of fuel consumption which showed that 1.36 billion litres was consumed during the post-deregulation period, while 48.43 million litres was accounted to be the average daily consumption. An analysis on consumption showed the gap between the monthly consumption figures of the pre-deregulation and post-deregulation periods to be 18.5 million litres.
There was an inconsistent flow of PMS consumption in the country. Across the country, there was a fall of petrol consumption to 10 million litres on some days and an increase to 100 million litres on some other days. NMDPRA highlighted the figures for the consumption of petrol in the following months: March 8, 103.6 million; April 20, 105.02 million; and May 16, 101.9 million. There were reports on pre-deregulation periods, but the report from post-deregulation days showed that consumption was not beyond 78.84 million litres throughout the 28 days.
A filling station manager lamented low patronage.
Also, there are low patronages from motorists and people as filling stations in Port Harcourt are empty and without customers, especially in Rivers State. Some filling stations stated there is a wide difference between days before fuel subsidy when they recorded 1000 vehicles per day and now, as they can no longer account for 100 vehicles due to the fuel subsidy. Madam Rose, the manager of one of the filling stations in Aba Road, Port Harcourt, affirmed that they have been experiencing low patronage from vehicles which has affected their business. In Rivers State, car owners have shifted to using public transport or trekking instead driving their cars and only use their vehicles on special occasions, due to the hike in fuel price.
Juliana Eni, the Sector Public Education Officer (SPEO) of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Rivers State, confirmed the decrease of cars on the roads and its effect on traffic. Mallam Mohammed Abdullahi, a resident in Rivers State, stated that he had to park his car and resort to public transport because of the cost of fuel used in three days which amounted to N10,000. In Imo State, petrol consumption has been said to reduce because people only buy it for occasional use.
For filling stations, subsidy removal has made salary payments difficult.
Evaristus Ebeniro, the State Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps, added that many people don’t use their cars, leaving few cars on the roads. Mrs. Joy Uzoma, BGR filling station manager, stressed that the fuel subsidy has posed great obstacles in the payment of salaries and the ability to meet their targets. In addition, Prince John Okoronta, a vehicle owner, begged the Federal Government to device a plan to decrease the fuel price because the masses are at disadvantage. A retired civil servant, Malam Nasir Usman, disclosed that he had to count on riding a commercial motorcycle, as a pensioner with responsibilities.