Some residents of Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Friday, engaged in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, over the uncertainty surrounding the pump price of the product.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had, on Thursday night, announced an increase in the petrol pump price to N212.61 per litre from the present price of between N163 and N165 per litre.
However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) countered PPPRA on the fuel price increase, insisting that there was no increase in the depot price of petrol.
Visits by a NAN correspondent to various petrol stations in Okitipupa council area and its environs revealed that residents, ranging from motorists, motorcyclists to other end users, besieged filling stations, engaging in panic buying of petrol.
NAN reports that most of the petrol stations were still selling petrol at the old prices of N163 and N165 per litre.
Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews, lamented the confusion trailing the pump price of petrol.
They said that any increase in petrol price would make life more difficult for Nigerians, as prices of foodstuffs, goods and other commodities would equally increase.
They appealed to the Federal Government to find ways of cushioning the effect of the harsh economy, which, they said, had made the cost of living higher.
Mr Bayo Ikudaisi, a commercial driver, told NAN that the increase in the price of fuel would automatically increase transport fare, which would affect other goods too.
“We are still battling with the increase in daily transport ticket by the state government and now, the increase in fuel price by federal government. This will automatically increase transport fares and affect prices of goods,” he said.
Mr Segun Ikuomola, a commercial motorcyclist, said that life had been unbearable for most Nigerians, adding that any fuel price increase now would have adverse effect on Nigerians.
“Since last week, there had been no more N50 bike because of the increase in transport ticket by the state government. If fuel price are increased now, residents should expect high motorcycle charges,” Ikuomola said.
Mrs Adetimehin Adetuwo, a trader, lamented that feeding her family had been a herculean task, especially with increase in prices of foodstuffs, other commodities and school fees, stressing that the situation should not be compounded with fuel price increase.
A resident, Mr Moshood Ale, said that residents of Okitipupa were already suffering owing to lack of electricity for the past eight years, which had affected their social lives.
“We use fuel for virtually everything, including charging of phones, pumping of water, transportation and others. So we pray government not to tamper with the current price of petrol,” Ale said.
A market woman, Mrs Banke Aladeye, said that foodstuffs and other commodities had already increased before now, maintaining that any further fuel price increase would affect their survival.