The news of fuel increment to N151.56K per litre came to me as a rude shock, just barely 24 hours after the rapid increase in electricity tariff to N66 per kwh which came into effect on September 1, 2020. It came at a time when Presidents all over the world are working round the clock to cushion the effect of Covid-19 on its Citizenry. Why N151 from N145? What are the paremetres used in arriving at N151? These are questions the federal government should answer.
President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government could have increased fuel pump price to N800 per litre so that Nigerians will know that they have signed into the Next Level of suffering. We are in a country where millions cannot eat one square meal a day. Millions are Living below one dollar a day. Nigeria has been adjudged the Poverty Headquarter of the world. It is insensitive to increase the Price of fuel at this period of pandemic. Nigeria represents a huge paradox. Despite being the largest producer in Africa and one of the world’s largest exporters of crude oil, the price of the product keep soaring.
Since Nigeria’s independence, the country has witnessed quite a number of increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).
Permit me to highlight the number of times that the pump price of petrol has been adjusted since independence.
* General Yakubu Gowon: 1966 – 1975
This was during the administration of General Yakubu Gowon. In 1973, Gowon increased the price of petrol from 6k to 8.45k. This was 40.83 percent increase.
*General Murtala Muhammed: 1975 – 1976
General Murtala Muhammed was the Head of State at the time. In 1976, he increased the pump price of petrol from 8.45k to 9k. This represented a 6.5 percent increase.
*Major General Olusegun Obasanjo: 1976 – 1979
Major General Olusegun Obasanjo was the Head Of State. On October 1, 1978, Obasanjo increased the pump price from 9k to 15.3k during his time as President. This was a 70 percent increase.
*Alhaji Shehu Shagari: 1979 – 1983
On April 20, 1982, the civilian government led by Shehu Shagari increased the pump price of petrol by 30.7 percent from 15.3k to 20k.
*General Muhammadu Buhari: 1983 -1985
The pump price remained the same (20k) during Buhari’s time as military Head Of State.
*General Ibrahim Babangida: 1985 – 1993
When General Ibrahim Babangida assumed power, he increased the pump price a total of four times.
March 31, 1986: 20k to 39.5k (97.5 percent)
April 10. 1988: 39.5k to 42k (6.33 percent)
January 1, 1989: 42k to 60k (Private Vehicles) (42.85 percent)
March 6, 1991: 60k to 70k (16.67 percent).
*Ernest Shonekan: 1993
During the short spell of Ernest Shonekan as Head Of State (he spent 82 days in power), he increased the price of petrol by over 614.29 percent from 70k to N5. The increase took effect from November 8, 1993.
*General Sanni Abacha: 1993 – 1998
For 5 years, General Sani Abacha was at the helm of affairs in Nigeria. His administration was marked by several fuel scarcities. Initially, he reduced the petrol prices but later increased it before reducing it again.
November 22, 1993: N5 to N3.25k (price dropped 35 percent)
October 2, 1994: N3.25k to N15 (361.54 percent)
October 4, 1994: N15 to N11 (price dropped 26.67 percent).
*General Abdulsalami Abubukar: 1998 – 1999
General Abdulsalami Abubakar was the interim President between 1998 and 1999. During his tenure, the country experienced some adjustment in fuel price.
December 20, 1998: N11 toN25 (127.27 percent)
January 6, 1999: N25 to N20 (price dropped 25 percent)
*Olusegun Obasanjo: 1999 – 2007
During Obasanjo’s tenure as President, the price of petrol only saw a single change but when he returned in 1999, the price experienced seven changes over a period of eight years.
June 1, 2000: N20 to N30 (50 percent)
June 8, 2000: N30 to N22 (price drops 26.67 percent)
Jan 1, 2002: N22 to N26 (18.18 percent)
June 2003: N26 to N42 (61.54 percent)
May 29, 2004: N42 to N50 (19.05 percent)
Aug 25, 2004: N50 to N65 (30 percent)
May 27, 2007: N65 to N75 (15.39 percent)
*Umaru Musa Yaradua: 2007 – 2010
Interestingly, Yar’Adua was the only President who did not increase the pump price of fuel. During his tenure, he reduced the price of petrol from N75 to N65 (price drops 15.39 percent). The adjustment took effect from June 2007.
*Goodluck Jonathan: 2010 – 2015
Goodluck Jonathan adjusted the pump price of fuel three times during his tenure.
January 1, 2012: N65 to N141 (116.92 percent)
January 17, 2012: N141 to N97 (Price drops 31.21 percent)
February 2015: N97 to N87 (price drops 10.31 percent)
*Muhammed Buhari: 2015 till date
Despite his campaign promise to reduce the price of fuel, President Muhammadu Buhari increased the price of petrol from N87 to N143 in 2016.
Buhari- May 11, 2016: N87 to N145 (66.67 percent)
September 2, 2020: N145 to N151.56k
When will anything that goes up come down in Nigeria. I hereby called on the government to abort it’s decision and consider the feelings of Nigerians.