Subsidies: President Tinubu’s Subsidy Removal Sparks Fuel Price Increase and Scarcity, May 2023


Following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s announcement of the removal of fuel subsidies, there has been an immediate and unanticipated response from marketers and operators. As a result, the petrol pump prices have surged to a range of N210 to N500 per litre.

During his inaugural speech on Monday, President Tinubu highlighted that the previous administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari had not allocated any budget for fuel subsidies in the latter half of the year, implying that the subsidies will no longer be provided.

Upon conducting a check on Monday evening in the nation’s capital, it was observed that long queues have reappeared as residents are now purchasing fuel at a rate of N210 per litre, in contrast to the previous rate of N195 per litre. However, it should be noted that certain filling stations along Kubwa Expressway in Lugbe are still selling fuel at the previous price of N195 per litre.

In Lagos, there has been a significant surge in fuel pump prices, with a nearly 100 percent increase. Lagosians are now purchasing fuel at a rate of N370 per litre, compared to the previous price of N180 per litre.

In Warri, Delta State, the pump price has skyrocketed to N500 per litre.

Meanwhile, in Niger State, fuel pump prices have risen to a range of N210 to N300 per litre.

These price hikes occurred within a short span of six hours after President Tinubu’s announcement during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square, Abuja.

It is worth noting that President Buhari had allocated funds for fuel subsidies until the end of June, implying that most fuel products currently available are still benefiting from the subsidies.

A bolt driver in Abuja, expressed his dissatisfaction with the sharp increase, stating that petrol marketers are the root cause of the problem in Nigeria. He also mentioned that some individuals had anticipated such a situation.

Mele Kyari responds to subsidies

Regarding President Tinubu’s decision to remove fuel subsidies and the subsequent response from operators, Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), expressed his support for the President’s decision. He reassured Nigerians that there is no need for panic buying.

Kyari emphasized that the NNPC has an ample supply of fuel to sustain the country for the next 30 days. Furthermore, the corporation is actively monitoring its supply and distribution networks across the nation.

Previously, Taiwo Oyedele, the Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PwC, had advised the President to ensure that fuel supply is readily available to the Nigerian populace in order to prevent panic buying.

In response to President Tinubu’s decision to remove fuel subsidies, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) released a statement urging caution. The President, Prince Williams Akporeha, and the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, emphasized the need for the new administration to carefully consider the implications before proceeding with the removal of fuel subsidies.

They stressed that any significant policy decision regarding the subsidy removal should be approached with utmost caution due to the substantial impact it can have on the nation’s overall economic activities and the potential unintended consequences for ordinary citizens. NUPENG acknowledged the socio-economic importance of the product and emphasized the need for a thorough assessment before implementing such a decision.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here