Nigerians who Purchased Petrol above N97 Peaked at 78% in March 2014

 

Abuja, Nigeria. May 20th, 2014 - The First Quarter (Q1) results of the Petrol Price Monitoring Polls conducted by NOIPolls Limited revealed a significant 47-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who bought petrol above the official pump price from January (31%) to March 2014 (78%). The result obtained in March 2014 represents the HIGHEST proportion of respondents who purchased petrol above N97 in the 15 months of conducting the Petrol Price Monitoring Polls which started from January 2013. Furthermore, the quarterly average ( Q1) shows that the majority (53%) purchased petrol above the official pump price of N97 with the highest obtained in the North-East and South-East zoneswhile 44% purchased at the official price. This quarter’s figure represents the second highest obtained in the quarterly trend on the purchase of petrol above the official price, after peaking in Q1 2013 (58%). More findings revealed that on average, 64% of Nigerians bought petrol from major marketer filling stations in the 1st quarter of2014. However, monthly trend analysis shows a downward trend with a substantial 32-Pointdecline from January (78%) to March (46%) in the proportion of Nigerians who purchased petrol from major marketer filling stations. These findings highlight the adverse effect of the crippling fuel scarcity experienced across Nigeria in the first quarter of 2014[1]. These are some of the findings of the Petrol Price Monitoring Polls conducted  in Quarter 1, 2014.

In January 2012, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory 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 for the reason that over a trillion Naira was spent in 2011 on subsidy. 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.
 
The removal of the fuel subsidy led to  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. In line with this, the government as a stop-gap measure partially removed subsidy, thereby bringing the official pump price of petrol to N97.
 
In January 2014, Nigeria experienced a fresh round of acute scarcity in the supply of petrol nationwide that persisted over the first quarter. According to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), this was triggered by the delay of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in releasing the approval for the first quarter fuel importation[2].
 
The purpose of this series of polls is to monitor and analyse the current pump 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 1,500 respondents were interviewed in the three months of Quarter 1 (January-March 2014) and the respondents were  asked the same ten questions for each monthly poll, four of these questions will be reviewed in this press release. For full details of the findings please e-mail: editor@noi-polls.com.
 
The point of petrol purchase was monitored monthly; respondents were asked: Where do you mainly buy petrol from? Findings revealed that an average of 64% of Nigerians (representing the majority) bought petrol from major marketer filling stations in the 1st quarter of 2014. In addition, an average of 28% of Nigerians bought from independent marketer filling stations while  8% bought from hawkers.
 
An assessment of petrol purchase by geo-political zones revealed that the South-West zone has the highest percentage of respondents (76%) who bought petrol from major marketer filling stations. The South-East zone has the highest percentage of Nigerians who bought from independent marketer filling stations with 44%, while the North-East zone (13%) has the highest percentage of people who purchased petrol from hawkers.
 
Further monthly trend analysis revealed a downward trend in the proportion of Nigerians who purchased petrol from major marketer filling stations; there was a 9-point decline from January (78%) to February (69%) and a further 23-point decline in March (46%).  January recorded the largest proportion (78%) of Nigerians who bought petrol from major marketer filling stations, while the month of March which recorded the lowest purchase of fuel from major marketer filling station (46%), also recorded the highest proportion of respondents who bought fuel from independent marketer filling station. The observed shift in point of purchase trends is likely to be as a result of the fuel scarcity which was experienced in the first quarter of 2014.

[1] The Punch Newspaper – March 16th 2014; Fuel Scarcity persists nationwide
[2] The Daily Independent – January 18th 2014; Nationwide Fuel Scarcity looms as Marketers groan under importation

 

 

In order to estimate the average price of petrol in Nigeria and measure the percentage of Nigerians that buy above the official pump price, the respondents to the poll were asked: How much do you normally buy petrol?  Results show that Nigerians bought petrol at different prices in Q1; 53% of Nigerians purchased petrol above the official price of N97, while 44%purchased petrol at the official pump price and 3% claim they purchased petrol bought below the official price. 

Petrol price analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the North-East and South-East zones accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who purchased petrol above the official pump price of N97 with 68% each. Furthermore, the highest proportion of respondents who bought petrol at N97 were from the North-Central zone (57%); the South-West zone accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who bought petrol at N100 (18%), while the North-East zone (21%) had the highest proportion of respondents who bought petrol above N130.

 

The purchase of petrol at the official pump price was highest in January (65%), which also recorded the highest purchase of petrol from major marketer filling stations; while the highest purchase of petrol above the official pump price was recorded in March (78%); which also recorded the highest purchase of petrol from independent marketer filling stations and petrol hawkers as shown in a previous chart.  In addition there was a drastic 47-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who bought petrol above the official pump price from January (31%) to March (78%).

 

A cross tabulation of the price paid per litre of petrol by point of purchase revealed that the majority (58%) of respondents who purchased petrol from major marketer filling stations bought at the official price (N97). Furthermore, the slim majority of respondents that bought from independent marketer filling stations purchased at N97 (22%) closely followed by 21% that purchased at N100 and 20% that bought at N120.  In addition, the majority of respondents(65%) who bought from petrol hawkers bought above N130

 

With the aim of assessing the opinion of Nigerians on the possible reasons for petrol price disparity at the points of sale; respondents were asked: What do you think is responsible for the difference in the pump price of petrol across filling stations? Majority of the respondents (51%) reported that the difference in the price of petrol stems from the lack of monitoring of petrol stations by the government. In addition, 24% of the respondents indicated that “filling stations are exploiting the public by hoarding petrol”; implying that filling stations create an artificial scarcity to take advantage of petrol price inflation. Furthermore another 24%felt that the disparity in the price of petrol is because the cost of importing petrol is not the same for all marketers.

Analysis by geo-political zones shows that the South-South zone (56%) has the highest proportion of respondents who blamed the government for not monitoring the filling stations. In addition, the North-East zone (29%) has the largest proportion of respondents that were of the view that the cost of importing petrol is not the same for all marketers, while the South-East zone (31%) accounts for the highest proportion of respondents that feel the petrol stations are exploiting people by hoarding fuel.

 

 

In order to assess the level of support of Nigerians on 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 subsidy?  Majority of the respondents (57%) are not in support of the subsidy removal while 43% are in support. Furthermore the South-East zone  (56%), accounted for the highest proportion of respondents in support of subsidy removal while the North-West (64%) has the majority of respondents against the petrol subsidy removal.

Monthly trend analysis shows that over Q1, the proportion of respondents in support of subsidy removal was highest in January 2014 (46%)

 

 

In conclusion, findings from this poll have revealed a drastic 47-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who bought petrol above the official pump price from January (31%) to March 2014 (78%). Furthermore, the majority of Nigerians (53%) purchased petrol above the official pump price of N97. More findings revealed that that on average 64% of Nigerians bought petrol from major marketer filling stations in the 1st  quarter of 2014. However, monthly trend analysis shows a downward trend with a significant 32-Point decline from January (78%)to March (46%) in the proportion of Nigerians who purchased petrol from major marketer filling stations. These findings highlight the adverse effect of the fuel scarcity experienced nationwide in Q1 2014[1]. Furthermore, the majority of respondents (58%) who purchased petrol from major marketer filling stations bought at the official price (N97); while majority of respondents who purchased petrol from Independent marketer filling stations (78%) and petrol hawkers(94%) bought above the official price. In addition, 51% of the respondents reported that the differences in the price of petrol resulted from the lack of monitoring of petrol stations by government.  Finally, poll results show the majority of the respondents (57%) are not in support of the subsidy removal.

 
Survey Methods
The opinion poll was conducted monthly over the first quarter of 2014; January to March 2014. 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 3%.
 
NOIPolls Limited is Nigeria’s leading opinion polling and research organisation, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com
 
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 judgment 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.
 
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