Most Nigerians Buy Fuel above the Official Price as Fuel Scarcity Rocks the Nation

 

Abuja, Nigeria. May 12th, 2015 – A poll commissioned by BusinessDay Media and conducted by NOIPolls Limited in March 2015 revealed that 90 percent of Nigerians, who buy petrol, purchase at a price above the official rate of ₦87; with the current average price of petrol per litre across Nigeria being ₦114.  The North-East zone recorded the highest average price per litre at ₦129. Though the Federal Government recently announced the full payment of all outstanding subsidy debt owed to the marketers, the long queues at filling stations across the nation still remains unending. More findings revealed a high awareness rate (72 percent) of the fuel scarcity across the nation; although a considerable proportion of Nigerians in the South-East zone (47 percent) showed no awareness of the crisis, suggesting a less severe occurrence of the fuel scarcity in that zone.

An evaluation of the effect of the fuel scarcity on Nigerians revealed that 82 percent of respondents, who are aware of the fuel crisis, reported that they have been directly affected by the situation.  Nigerians in this category have mostly suffered an ‘increase in transport fare’ (48 percent) as a direct effect of the fuel crisis; while reporting ‘waste of time on queues’ (17 percent) and ‘increase in expenses’ (17 percent) as other direct effects of the fuel scarcity. These were the key findings from the Fuel Scarcity poll conducted in March 2015.

Brief Background

Fuel scarcity has been a recurrent issue in Nigeria with another round experienced at the end of the first quarter of 2015. In line with this, long queues of motorists resurfaced at filling stations across the nation as importers of the product were said to be handicapped by the delay in the payment of their subsidy arrears.[1]

As such, the fuel scarcity has inflicted hardship on motorists, and commuters who are sometimes left stranded at major bus stops and motor parks, while fares have been increased to certain destinations. In addition, some of the petrol stations have increased their pump price from the official price of 87 Naira per litre to 100 Naira and above[2]

In the midst of this, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, urged motorists to stop panic buying of fuel, while giving assurance of the release of a huge volume of the product into the market by the Petroleum Pipelines and Marketing Company, PPMC;  putting the current stock of petrol in its depots across the country at 1.9bn litres.[3]

Against this background, NOIPolls Ltd on behalf of BusinessDay Media conducted a poll to seek the perceptions of Nigerians regarding the recent petrol scarcity. The poll sought to measure the level of awareness of Nigerians on the situation, its direct impact on Nigerians and impact on the pricing of the product.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked five specific questions. To ascertain the awareness of Nigerians on fuel scarcity, respondents were asked: Are you aware of the recent fuel scarcity that has been going on over the past three weeks? Findings revealed that the overall majority of respondents (72 percent) are aware of the recent fuel crisis across the nation. This cuts across gender, age-group and geo-political zones. However, the South-East zone accounted for the highest proportion (47 percent) of respondents who showed no awareness of the crisis. This therefore suggests a less severe occurrence of the fuel scarcity in that zone.

To evaluate the effect of the fuel scarcity on Nigerians, respondents who showed awareness of the fuel scarcity (72 percent of the total) were asked: In your opinion, has the fuel scarcity directly affected you? Overall, 82 percent of respondents who showed awareness of the crisis reported they have been directly affected by the fuel scarcity. This cuts across all geo-political zones, age-group and gender.

In a different light, some respondents (18 percent) confirmed they have in no way been directly affected by the fuel scarcity. These respondents may be dependents or not involved in economic activities that involves daily transportation.

Subsequently, to gain insight on the sort of effects the fuel scarcity has had on Nigerians, respondents who reported they have been affected by the fuel scarcity (82 percent of the total) were asked: In your own words, in what way has the fuel scarcity affected you?  Findings revealed that Nigerians have mostly suffered an ‘increase in transport fare’ (48 percent) as a direct effect of the fuel crisis. Respondents also mentioned ‘waste of time on queue’ (17 percent) and ‘increase in expenses’ (17 percent) amongst other effects of the petrol scarcity.

Further analysis based on geo-political zones revealed that the majority of Nigerians across all geo-political zones have been affected by ‘increase in transport fare’; however, this is mostly true for respondents from the North-Central (59 percent) and North-East (57 percent) zones.

Subsequently, respondents were asked: Presently do you buy fuel? Findings revealed that three-fourth of the respondents (75 percent) buy petrol and this cuts across age, gender and geo-political zones. 25 percent of respondents reported they do not buy petrol, however this is not to say that they have not felt the impact of the fuel scarcity.

Finally, with the aim of gauging the effect of scarcity on petrol pricing, respondents who buy petrol (75 percent of the total) were further asked: How much do you currently buy a litre of petrol? Responses to this question revealed that the vast majority of Nigerians (90 percent) who buy petrol, purchase it above the official rate of ₦87, at an average of ₦114 per litre.

Analysis by geo-political zone revealed that the vast majority of respondents across all geo-political zones currently buy petrol above the official price, although the North-East zone recorded the highest average price per litre at   ₦129.

In conclusion, findings from the poll revealed that the overall majority of respondents (72 percent) are aware of the recent fuel crisis across the nation and 82 percent reported they have been directly affected by the situation. More findings revealed that Nigerians have mostly suffered an ‘increase in transportation fare’ (48 percent) ‘waste of time on queue’ (17 percent) and ‘increase in expenses’ (17 percent) as direct effects of the fuel crisis amongst others. In addition, 75 percent of the respondents buy petrol, and of this proportion, the vast majority (90 percent) buy petrol at a price above the official rate of ₦87, with an average of ₦114 per litre. 

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of March 24th 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,500 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. 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%.

About NOIPolls

NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA). We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

About BusinessDay Media

BusinessDay, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. BusinessDay Media Ltd is the leading medium for up-to-date news and insightful analysis of business, policy and the economy in Nigeria, a critical decision-making tool for investors and managers. It provides unbiased news and informed analysis on politics, governance, social and economic trends.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited and authorized for release by BusinessDay Media on the NOIPolls media platform 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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[1] http://www.punchng.com/business/business-economy/pppra-cuts-petrol-imports-by-50-scarcity-worsens/

[2] http://www.channelstv.com/2015/03/02/fuel-scarcity-spreads-across-lagos/

[3] http://www.today.ng/news/nnpc-urges-nigerians-to-avoid-panic-buying-stock-piling-of-petrol-during-the-elections/