By Michael Eboh
ABUJA — Nigerians have blamed corruption and mismanagement of petroleum subsidy funds as the major factors hindering citizens from enjoying the full benefits of subsidy.
NOI Polls, in its weekly poll result released yesterday, stated that about 52 per cent of Nigerians who purchase Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, are of the view that Nigerians have not enjoyed the full benefits of petroleum subsidy.
Giving a breakdown by geo-political zones, 72 per cent of North-east respondents claimed Nigerians have enjoyed the full benefits of the petroleum subsidy, compared to 37 per cent of respondents in the South-South who shared similar view and 40 per cent in the South-West.
In the North-Central, 42 per cent of respondents believed that Nigerians have enjoyed the benefits of petrol subsidy; 49 per cent and 50 per cent of south east and north-west respondents respectively, share similar view.
This perception, according to the polling agency, may be guided by the fact that a larger proportion of Nigerians purchase petrol at a price above the subsidized rate ofN87.
The poll further revealed that majority of its respondents blame corruption as the key factor hindering Nigerians from enjoying the full benefits of petrol subsidy.
Specifically, 66 per cent of the respondents identified corruption as the factor that has hinder Nigerians from enjoying the full benefits of petroleum subsidy; 39 per cent blamed it on poor management of petrol subsidy, while 18 per cent blamed it on efficient regulatory authorities.
Furthermore, 12 per cent of the respondents blamed their inability to enjoy the full benefits of subsidy on difference in the cost of fuel importation; 12 per cent chose inefficiencies of petrol price control mechanisms, while four per cent blame it on bad government/leadership.
Given this set back, the poll pointed out that a significant proportion of Nigerians, about 42 per cent, especially from the South-East zone, would support the full removal of fuel subsidy to a great extent, while about 44 per cent of Nigerians, mainly from the North-East and North-West regions would not support the full removal of petrol subsidy by the government.
Commenting on the poll result, NOIPolls said, “An evaluation of the awareness and perception of Nigerians on the drop in global crude oil prices revealed that majority of Nigerians, about 71 per cent, who buy petrol are aware of the drop in the price of crude oil by 50 per cent worldwide. As a result of this drop, almost all the respondents, about 94 per cent, who purchase petrol believe there should be a corresponding drop in the price of petrol in Nigeria to reflect the drop in the price of crude oil worldwide.
“In line with this, the price of petrol dropped by ¦ 10, bringing the official price of petrol to ¦ 87 per litre as announced by the Federal Government in January 2015.
“In spite of this, majority of Nigerians suggest petrol price should drop to a price ranging from ¦ 50 – ¦ 70 (an average of ¦ 59), to correspond with the drop in the price of crude oil worldwide.”