By Michael Eboh
Foremost polling, research and survey firm, NOIPolls, Tuesday, stated that 86 per cent of petrol purchasing Nigerians across the purchased the commodity at an average of N199 per litre, far above the N145 per litre price stipulated by the Federal Government.
In its latest report published Tuesday, NOIPolls stated that this finding was in consonance with the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, petrol price watch report, which revealed that Nigerians buy petrol at an average of N191 per litre in January 2018.
The NOIPolls noted that the result of the polls which was conducted in the week commencing February, 5, 2018, had highlighted the need for stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, especially the Department for Petroleum Resources, DPR, to intensify efforts towards price monitoring exercises to ensure that products allocated to each state of the federation are dispensed to buyers at the official pump price.
The report explained that the first question gauged the proportion of Nigerians who buy petrol, adding that it was revealed that 72 per cent of Nigerian adults confirmed they buy petrol, either for use in their vehicles or to power other petrol powered machines such as generators, grinding machines among others.
According to the report, this response cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age groups, with each demography having over 50 per cent of the respondents, indicating that they buy petrol.
It said, “Poll results revealed that most Nigerians, 56 per cent, buy petrol from Independent Marketer’s filling stations and residents from the South-East had the highest percentage of respondents in this category with 78 per cent representation. While 23 per cent mentioned Major Marketers’ filling stations, it is interesting to note that 12 per cent of the respondents buy from black market sellers (street hawkers) and only nine percent indicated that they buy from the NNPC Mega Stations.
“The prevailing price of petrol was also ascertained and results revealed that an overwhelming proportion, 86 percent, of Nigerians disclosed that they buy petrol above the official price of N145 and this assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age groups with each demography having over 70 per cent of the respondents indicating that they buy petrol above the official price in their respective region.
“Further analysis revealed that of all the various prices mentioned by respondents, Nigerians buy a litre of petrol for an average price of N199 nationwide. Also, residents in the North-West zone pay the highest average price of N221 for a litre of Petrol, while the respondents resident in the South-West zone pay the lowest average price of N179 per litre.”
As a result, the NOIPolls concluded that although petrol scarcity seems to have disappeared, most Nigerians still buy petrol above the official price of N145 per litre and at an average of N199 per litre nationwide.
It argued that this was a wakeup call for the NNPC, DPR and other government parastatals in charge of monitoring and regulation to ensure that the official pump price of N145 per litre is strictly adhered to by the marketers and to also make certain that they continue to arrest and prosecute marketers found to be involved in the hoarding and diversion of petroleum products.
“Finally, the NNPC, major marketers and independent marketers must synergize to resolve the issues resulting in price challenges which had made the dispensing prices vary among various marketers of the product,” the report noted.