Don't Miss

Survey shows 57% of Nigerians still buy petrol above N97 per litre

By on April 1, 2013

Fifty-seven percent of Nigerians have bought petrol within a range of N100 to N130 per litre, significantly above the official price of N97, the quarterly results of a recent survey by NOI Polls from January to March has shown.

Tracking the monthly price of fuel across geo-political zones in January, February and March 2013, the survey shows that this disparity is particular in cities outside Lagos and Abuja.

According to NOI Polls, 70 percent of the South-East consumers buy petroleum products from independents, not major marketers; also 54 percent of Nigerians attributed the huge disparity in the price to non-monitoring of the filling stations by government agencies.

NOI Polls is Nigeria’s leading Opinion Polling and Research Organisation which works in partnership with The Gallup Organisation (USA) to develop opinion research in Nigeria. They conducted the survey via telephone interviews across the 36 states in Nigeria including the FCT, with a total of 1,512 phone owning Nigerians aged 18 and above, who use petrol.

The removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012 sparked protests across the country’s major cities, following speculations on the impact of this subsidy removal on household spending.

“Although the removal of the fuel subsidies is in line with the Federal Government’s transformation agenda aimed at improving transparency, efficiency and accountability in the petroleum sector, thereby curbing corruption, attempts to further remove subsidies have generated opposition from consumers, due to presumptions that any price increase will further raise inflation and reduce economic welfare. However, the question still remains as to whether the product is being sold at the official price as stated by the government at N97 per litre, or marketers are selling above the price,” the survey observed.

The NOI Polls survey asked people a collection of 10 specific questions monthly over the three month period. The first question sought to establish where respondents buy petrol. Respondents were asked: Where do you mainly buy petrol from? Nationwide results indicate that the majority (61percent) mainly buy petrol from major marketer filling stations, followed by 34percent who buy from independent marketer stations. Only five percent mainly purchase their petrol from petrol hawkers.

An analysis of results across geo-political zones highlights some interesting differences. The majority (70 percent) of respondents in the South-East mainly buy their petrol from independents; this could be representative of the fact that there could be a greater number of independents within the South East. Also, the North-East has the greatest proportion (11percent) of respondents that mainly buy from petrol hawkers.

“Over the first quarter of 2013, respondents were asked the following question each month: How much do you normally buy petrol? Nationwide results show that over the three months, an average of 57 percent of respondents bought at more than N97 per litre, while 43 percent of respondents bought at the official price of N97 per litre. Further analysis along months show that the proportion of respondents that buy at the official price of N97 per litre has increased steadily over the months from 31 percent (January) to 46 percent (February) and 51 percent (March). This can be attributed to the easing of the intense fuel scarcity experienced in most parts of the country towards the end of 2012 and early in 2013. However the overall average of 43 percent still shows a huge disparity in prices across regions,” the survey indicated.

It further stated: “Subsequently, each month respondents were asked the following question: What do you normally use petrol for? A nationwide average indicate that the majority (34percent) of Nigerians mainly use the product for their generators, 29 percent use the product for their cars while 24 percent use the product for both their cars and generators. A trend analysis (January: 25percent, February: 37percent, March: 39percent) shows a rise in the use of petrol for generators in February and March, indicating a higher use of alternate power supply in this period. Other uses of petrol include for machinery, tricycles etc. Respondents were also asked: What do you think is responsible for the difference in the pump price of petrol across filling stations? The vast majority (54percent) said the differences occur because the government is not monitoring filling stations. This is followed by 22 percent who think it is because the cost of importing petrol is not the same for all marketers and 16 percent who think the filling stations are exploiting the public by hoarding fuel.”