Fuel queues returned to Nigerian cities on Monday as many motorists scrambled to get petroleum products, hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced his government would stop fuel subsidy regime.
During his inauguration, Tinubu declared that there would no longer be a petroleum subsidy regime as it was not sustainable.
The President said the current 2023 budget only has provision for the fuel subsidy till June.
He added that funds meant for subsidies would be diverted to creation of public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs.
“We commend the outgoing administration for phasing out petrol subsidy regime, which has increasingly favoured rich more than the poor.
“A subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.
“We shall, instead, re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education and health care.
“This is to improve the lives of millions,” Tinubu said.
TheNewsZenith reports that there was chaos in many service stations in Abuja as frustrated customers, eager to buy the product, struggled to join the long queues stretching several kilometres.
Such queues are already causing serious gridlock in usual light-traffic Abuja roads at the weekend.
Ali Nuhu, a black marketer lamented there was no job around.
“Selling petrol on the road is the only hope of making ends meet. I get petrol from filling stations.
“Since yesterday, sales have reduced, compared to last week; many filling stations are now selling fuel within Abuja.”
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A Conoil station in Abuja was selling the product but had a line that stretched up to several kilometres.
As of Sunday, motorists who slept at the Forte filling station at Wuse zone one were seen driving off in disappointment after they were told that the fuel had been exhausted.
The same trend is happening in Lagos, Ogun, and Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State Lagos, Ogun
In Lagos, fuel queues surfaced around Iponri, Palm Groove, Ojodu and Berger axis on Monday evening as motorists scrambled to get fuel ahead of resumption of work Tuesday.
The Nigerian government has, for decades, subsidised fuel and fixed retail prices of petroleum products.
Subsidy payment has, however, threatened the nation’s fiscal position.
It also impacted the government’s ability to fund developmental projects across the nation.
Meanwhile, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) has welcomed the new government’s decision to remove the subsidy on petrol.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Malam Mele Kyari, GCEO of NNPC Ltd., described the move as “a welcome development”.
Tinubu, at his inauguration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, had said the subsidy regime will end with the commencement of his administration.
Kyari said the removal of the subsidy, which had been a burden on NNPC’s cash flow, would free up funds to enable optimal operations in the company.
“Subsidy has been a major challenge for NNPC’s continuous operations.
“We believe that this will free up resources to enable us to continue to do great work and function as a commercial entity; we welcome this development,’’ he said.
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