About 8 in 10 Nigerians Purchase Petrol at the Official Pump Price in Q4

 

Abuja, Nigeria. January 16th, 2014 – Fourth Quarter (Q4) results for the Petrol Price Monitoring Pollsconducted by NOIPolls Limited  has revealed that the majority of Nigerians (77%) purchased petrol at the official price of N97 and typically buy petrol from major marketer filling stations (69%). In addition, the majority use petrol for both their cars and generators (46%). These form part of the findings of the Petrol Price Monitoring Poll for Quarter 4, 2013.

In January 2012, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatroy Agency (PPPRA) along with government announced an increase in the price of petrol from N65 to N141 as a result of the removal of subsidy becase over a trillion naira was spent in 2011 on the payment of subsidies. After days of protest by Nigerians led by organised labour and civil societies who were unhappy about the perceived hardship this action would cause  Nigerians and the lack of notice by the government to carry out such plans, the government as a stop-gap measure partially removed the subsidy on petrol, thereby bringing the official pump price of petrol to N97.

Subsidy has been defined as money given by the state or public body to keep down cost of commodities. Some people see it as a form of protectionism or trade barrier because domestic goods are made affordable artificially. Within the Nigerian petroleum pricing context, subsidy would then mean selling petrol below the cost of production or importation.

In the course of and following the 2012 subsidy protest and partial removal of subsidy by government, many debates arose with erroneous and innaccurate information passed across as the truth, indicating a need for a dependable measure of public opinion on issues surrounding public policies. This led NOIPolls to initiate thePetrol Price Monitoring Poll Project in January 2013. This result release is the fourth quarterly release in the series.

The purpose of the poll is to monitor and analyse the current price and uses of petrol in Nigeria, as well as to measure the perception of Nigerians towards the petrol price differences at various points of sale and the removal of fuel subsidy.

Key Findings

Over 6,000 respondents were interviewed from January-December 2013 and respondents were asked the same ten questions for each monthly poll, but only five of these will be reveiwed in this report. For full details of the findings please e-mail: editor@noi-polls.com.

With the aim of identifying the main petrol distributors that Nigerians patronize,  respondents to the poll were asked: Where do you mainly buy petrol from? Results reveal that in Q4 the majority (69%) buy petrol from major marketer filling stations. This is followed by 24% who mainly purchase from independent marketer filling stations and 7% who buy from petrol hawkers.

Analysis of the results by geo-political zones shows that the South-West has the highest percentage of people (78%) purchasing petrol from major marketer filling stations. The South-East zone has the highest percentage purchasing from independent marketer filling stations with 39%, while the North West and North-East zones have the highest percentage of people purchasing from the hawkers with 16% and 15% respectively. 

 

 

When Q4 results are compared with Q3, current results show there were no major changes in Q4. There was a slight 1 point decline in the proportion of people that mainly buy from major marketer filling stations and another slight 2% decrease in the proportion that buy from Independents when compared to Q3 results. 

 

 

Subsequently, in order to estimate the average cost of petrol in Nigeria as well as measure the percentage of Nigerians who buy above the official pump price, the respondents were asked: How much do you normally buy petrol?  Results show that the 77% of Nigerians purchased petrol at the official price of N97 in Q4. This was followed by 13% who purchased at N100. However, in total, 23% of Nigerians bought petrol above the official price in Q4.

Further analysis by geo-political zones shows that the South-West, North-Central, North East and South-East zones have the highest amount of respondents who bought petrol at N97 with 81% and 80% for the three other zones respectively.

 

 

A cumulative look at the prices paid for fuel in the 4th quarter shows that the proportion of respondents that bought at the official price of N97 was highest in November (83%) and this dropped to 75% in December. 

 

 

When Q4 results are compared with Q3; there was no substantial change; only a 1% decrease in the proportion of respondents that purchases petrol at the official pump price. This indicates that the far-reaching improvement in the availability of petrol first observed in Q3 was sustained in Q4.

 

 

Furthermore, in order to acertain the main uses of petrol in Nigeria, the respondents to the poll were asked: What do you normally use petrol for? Similar to the Q3 survey, the results for Q4 reveals that on an average, the majority use petrol for both their cars and generators (46%). This is followed by the use of petrol for generators only (31%) and cars only (18%).

The trend analysis shows that in October more respondents used petrol for both their cars and generators (54%) and there was a 12 point decline in November of those that used petrol for this purpose.

 

 

With the aim of exploring the perception of Nigerians about the causes of price differences of petrol at the points of sale, the respondents to the poll were asked: What do you think is responsible for the difference in the pump price of petrol across filling stations? The results show that majority (53%) of the respondents blamed the disparity in petrol price on the lack of monitoring of the petrol stations by governments. Furthermore, 27% of the respondents were of the opinion that the petrol stations are hoarding petrol and exploiting the public, while 20% felt that it is because the cost of importing petrol is not the same for all marketers.

Analysis by geo-political zones shows that the North-West and North-Central zones (both 60%) have the highest proportion of respondents who blamed the government for not monitoring the filling stations, while the North-East zone (43%) accounts for the highest proportion of respondents that feel the petrol stations are exploiting people. The South-East has the highest proportion of respondents (31%) that blame the price disparity on the varying cost of importation of petrol.

 

 

The monthly results for Q4 show there was a sharp 15-point decline in November in the proporttion of respondents who blamed the governement for price disparity and corresponding 13-point increase in those that blame the actual stations for hoarding fuel. Furthermore, in December there was a 15-point increase in the proportion of respondent that think the price disparity observed is because the cost of imporattion petrol is not the same for all marketers.

 

 

To guage how Nigerians feel about the partial removal of subsidy and possible future removal of subsidy, the respondents were asked: Are you in support of the Government’s decision to remove fuel subsidyResults show that the majority of the respondents (62%) are not in support of the subsidy removal while 38%are in support. It further shows the South-South zone accounted for the highest proportion of respondents in support of subsidy removal (54%), while the North-West (78%) has the majority of respondents against the petrol subsidy removal.

 

 

A further look at the monthly results for Q4 shows that in October there was the highest proportion of respondents (41%) that favoured subsidy removal (3% more than the 3 month average).  

 

 

Quarterly results show that there hasn’t been any significant change in the stance of Nigerians about removal of the fuel subsidy. The majority are not in support of the decision to remove the subsidy.

 

 

In conclusion, the poll revealed that while 77% of Nigerians purchased petrol at the official price of N97 in Q4; the majority (69%) of Nigerians buy petrol from major marketer filling stations. The poll also revealed that the majority use petrol for both their car and generator (46%), 53% of the respondents blamed the disparity in petrol price on the lack of monitoring of the petrol stations by governments and62% are not in support of the subsidy removal. Finally the poll revealed that an average of over 60% of Nigerians have maintained their stance against the removal of the fuel subsidy in 2013.

 
Survey Methods
The polls for the 4th quarter were conducted between the months of October and December 2013. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample of over 1,500  phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 4%.
 
Disclaimer
This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.
 
NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgement as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.
 
Press Contact
The Editor
Email: editor@noi-polls.com