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Above Official Price of N50, Most Nigerians Buy Kerosene At N137 Per Litre

Abuja, Nigeria. January 20th, 2015 – Poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that majority of Nigerians (97%) buy Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) popularly known as Kerosene above the official price for N50 per litre leaving only a meagre proportion (2%) who confirmed they bought the product at the official price. The poll further revealed that almost 8 in 10 Nigerians (77%) are unaware of the official price of kerosene; demonstrating that the subsidy enjoyed by Nigerians on Petrol has not really impacted Kerosene. Interestingly, more female (83%) than male (70%) respondents are unaware of the official price of Kerosene; even though more females actually buy and make use of it for Cooking (97%).

An assessment of the use of kerosene in Nigeria revealed that 65% of Nigerians buy kerosene, and it is mainly used for cooking (96%). Affordability, availability and convenience play a great role in the preference of Kerosene as a means for cooking, over other choices such as cooking gas, charcoal or firewood. Also, Kerosene can be bought in small quantities depending on the buying power of the individual, unlike gas where the lowest quantity that can be purchased is the 3kg camp gas cylinder which typically costs between N1000-N1200 per refill.

Finally, these findings clearly demonstrate that most of the marketers do not sell kerosene at the official price and this calls for more strict regulation and closer monitoring by regulatory organisations in ensuring that Nigerians enjoy the subsidy on kerosene at the official price. Also, awareness needs to be created by the Government on the official price of kerosene, especially in the rural areas. This can be done through sensitization events, radio jingles and television adverts amongst other means, and tailored in the major languages of each region. These were the key findings from the Kerosene Poll conducted in 2014.

Brief Background

Majority of Nigerians use kerosene for various daily activities. According to Index Mundi, the kerosene consumption by year has ebbed and flowed between 1986 and 2010; however between 1996 and 2010 consumption has dipped considerably[2]. This doesn’t change the fact that the demand on kerosene remains high. In meeting up with this demand, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), assured Nigerians that there is adequate supply of Dual Purpose kerosene (DPK).[3] They indicated that this supply is beyond the daily national demand in the country.

However, major problems still trail the kerosene market. The official price of kerosene is N50, however many Nigerians reveal that they buy kerosene above the official price. According to the NNPC, only NNPC Retail and a few outlets sell DPK at the government approved price of N50 per litre, while other marketers who purchase the product from PPMC at government regulated price of N40.90 sell above the recommended price.[4][4] Despite the one trillion naira allegedly spent on subsidizing kerosene[5][5] in the last four years, Nigeria still struggles with providing kerosene at an affordable rate and in sufficient quantity in the market place.

Against this background, and in line with its Petrol Monitoring Polls conducted from 2013 to 2014, NOIPolls conducted the Kerosene poll in 2014. The poll was aimed at evaluating the perception of Nigerians towards kerosene consumption, purchase, usage, and pricing in Nigeria.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions. In order to find out those who buy kerosene, respondents were asked: “Do you buy kerosene?” Respondentswho answered ‘No’ to the question had their survey terminated, while those who responded with a ‘Yes’ completed the poll. Results show that 65% of Nigerians buy kerosene, and 35% do not.

To ascertain the location of purchase, respondents were asked: Where do you mainly buy kerosene? Results show that most Nigerians (35%) who buy kerosene do so at Independent Marketer filling stations. This is followed by kerosene hawkers with 23% of respondents; Small retail shops, with 21% of respondents; and Major marketer filling stations with 20% of the general population. More males purchase kerosene from Independent and Major Marketer filling stations (with 38% and 24% of respondents respectively); however more females purchase kerosene from hawkers and retail shops (with 25% and 26% respectively).

Most residents who buy kerosene in the North-Central (with 45% of residents), South-East (with 53% of residents), and South-South (with 43% of residents) regions purchase kerosene from Independent Marketer filling stations. Procurement of kerosene from hawkers was highest (by proportion of the population that buys the product) in the North-East (40%). Most residents, who purchase kerosene in the South-West region, buy from Independent Marketer filling stations and Major marketer filling stations; 36% and 33% respectively. The source of obtaining kerosene seems to be most diverse in the North-West, with 31% of respondents buying kerosene from Small retail shops, 31% buying from kerosene hawkers, 27% of residents purchase it from Independent Marketer filling stations, and 11% obtain kerosene from major marketer filling stations.

In a bid to assess what consumers use kerosene for, respondents were asked: “What do you normally use kerosene for?” This was an open-ended question, and responses were grouped into general categories. It is also possible for respondents to provide multiple responses, thereby placing their responses in different categories. Results show that an overwhelming majority (96%) of Nigerians who purchase kerosene use it for cooking. 6% of the aforementioned population use it to power their lamps, and 3% buy kerosene to re-sell it. A larger proportion of females (97%) than males (94%) who buy kerosene use it for cooking, although a slightly larger proportion of males (4%) buy kerosene for retail purposes than females (1%).

In order to measure the level of awareness of the official price of kerosene among the product consumers, respondents were asked: “Do you know what the official price of kerosene is per litre?” Most respondents (77%) indicated they were not aware of the official price of kerosene. Analysing by gender, we find more females (83%) than males (70%) are not aware of the official price of kerosene per litre. The North-Central and South-South zones boast the highest proportion of residents, 40% and 31% respectively, who are knowledgeable of the official price of kerosene per litre. We expected that the residents who are familiar with the official price of kerosene are those who purchase the product from major marketer filling stations (Comparing results in Question 2 and 4), but this is not exactly the case as the zones with the highest proportion of residents, South-West (33%) and South-East (24%)[1][6], who purchase kerosene from major marketers are not identical with the zones that have the highest proportion of residents that know the official price of kerosene.

Subsequently, respondents were asked, “How much do you buy kerosene per litre (in Naira)?” There were three main categories to the question: Below ₦50, ₦50, and above ₦50. Respondents were also expected to state the amount they bought a litre of kerosene for. On average, Nigerians paid ₦137 for a litre of kerosene nationwide. The average price at which females (₦139) purchased a litre of kerosene is slightly higher than the price at which males (₦135) bought a litre of kerosene. Across the geo-political zones kerosene was purchased at ₦155 in the North-West, North-East, and South-East zones, the highest across all zones. Kerosene was purchased at an average of ₦129 in the South-West region, the lowest across all geo-political zones.

In conclusion, in spite of the high level of unawareness about the official price of kerosene (77% of Nigerians are unaware), 97% of Nigerians pay above the official price, while only a small proportion of respondents (2%)confirmed they pay N50 per litre for kerosene. In addition, all respondents from the South-East zone (100%)indicated they purchase kerosene above the official price, and this is closely followed by the North-West zone(99%). More findings revealed that 96% of Nigerians who buy kerosene use it for cooking while 6% use kerosene to fuel their lamps. From the population that buys kerosene, the North-Central zone (99%) and South-South zones (98%) make up the highest proportion of Nigerians who use kerosene for cooking, while the South-South (10%), North-East (8%) and South-East (8%) zones make up the highest proportion of Nigerians who use kerosene for lamps.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample of phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at


This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited 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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