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New poll shows Nigerians buy petrol at average of ₦116 across the nation

Abuja, Nigeria. January 19th, 2016 – Latest public opinion poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that most Nigerians are currently buying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, at an average of ₦116 per litre across the country; with the South East geo-political zone accounting for the highest average sale of ₦128 per litre. This latest finding by NOIPolls corroborates recent findings from the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) PMS Watch that Nigerians bought petrol at an average of ₦119.61k in the month of December 2015[1]. Furthermore, NOI’s poll conducted in the week commencing 11th January 2016 revealed significant availability of petroleum products, as 77 percent of respondents across the country acknowledged the availability of petrol, albeit above the official pump price of ₦86 and ₦86.50k for NNPC and Independent filling stations respectively.

On the contrary, only 8 percent of respondents affirmed that they currently buy petrol at ₦86 or ₦86.50k in their locality, with the majority of these respondents residing in the North-Central geo-political zone, one which also enjoys 82 percent availability of the product. This seeming availability of petrol and high compliance to the pump price within the North Central zone may be attributed to its proximity with the Federal Capital Territory, which makes the region easily accessible for inspection by agents of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who seem to have stepped up their monitoring efforts lately.

It is also interesting to note that the new poll also showed that only 68 percent Nigerians interviewed claimed to be aware of the reduction of petrol pump price from ₦87 to ₦86 or ₦86.50k per litre; with about 7 in 10 of this proportion positively affirming the fairness of the new pump prices. These are the key findings from the Petrol Pump Price Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week of January 11th 2016.

Brief Background

The federal Government through the Petroleum Pump Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced on the 30th of December 2015 that the new pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol is N86 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail stations while other independent retail marketers will sell the product at N86.50 per litre.[2] This prices according to PPPRA is a quarterly price template subject to renewal every 3 months in consideration of the falling and unpredictable global market oil prices.

Nonetheless, there are varying reactions by Nigerians about these new prices owing to the continued drop in global crude oil price which stood at 30 dollars per barrel as at 13th January 2016.[3] Some Nigerians opine that there is no significant difference in the new pump prices, arguing that it should be dropped further. According to a poll released by NOIPolls on the 12th of May 2015, 90 percent of Nigerians bought Petrol above the formal official rate of N87 per litre, prompting the question of compliance to this new price[4] .

In the light of the above, NOIPolls conducted a public opinion poll to ascertain the opinions & perceptions of Nigerians regarding the new pump prices and availability of petrol across the nation.

Survey Findings

On January 1st 2016, the Federal Government of Nigeria effected a reduction in the pump price of petrol to ₦86 and ₦86.50k per litre respectively. To gauge the awareness of Nigerians on this subject, respondents were asked: Are you aware of the introduction of the new petrol price of ₦86 and ₦86.50k respectively by the Federal Government on the 1st of January 2016? Findings revealed that most Nigerians (68 percent) are aware of the reduction of petrol pump price by ₦1 and 50k respectively by the Federal Government and residents from the North-West zone accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians (81 percent) who are conscious of the change in the pump price of petrol.

On the contrary, fewer respondents (32 percent) disclosed that they are not aware of such development since they buy the product above the said price and respondents from the South-East accounted for the highest number of Nigerians who are not mindful of the new pump price.

Respondents who responded positively and negatively to the first question were further asked: Do you think it is a fair price for a litre of petrol? The outcome revealed that a greater proportion of the respondents (70 percent) consider ₦86 and ₦86.50k to be fair and this cuts across gender, geo-political zone and age-group, whereas 30 percent think otherwise.

Furthermore, in order to gauge compliance of the new petrol pump price, respondents were asked: How much is a litre of petrol currently sold in your locality? Findings from the poll revealed that Nigerians buy a litre of petrol at an average price of ₦116. Surprisingly, only a meagre 8 percent each of respondents acknowledged that the product is sold at either ₦86 or ₦86.50k in their locality, with the North-Central zone (45 percent) accounting for the largest proportion of these groups of respondents. This high compliance of the new petrol pump price in this region could be influenced by the proximity of some states from this region to the FCT which is the seat of power.

On the other hand, a vast majority of Nigerians (84 percent) lamented that they are still buying petrol above the approved pump price and this is majorly reported by residents from the South-East zone (98 percent) who buy at an average of ₦128 per litre. Interestingly, while the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) insists on clamping down on petrol stations who choose to sell the products above the approved pump price, new reports have revealed that Petroleum Marketers in Imo State, for instance, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation and unwillingness to sell at the approved price, because they normally incur much higher costs in purchasing their own products. Following this development, recent news reports have revealed that black marketers have been capitalising on this situation to sell petrol for between ₦300 and ₦400 per litre, thus forcing commercial transporters to increase transport fares across the country.[1]

Subsequently, to ascertain the amount Nigerians would like petrol to be sold per litre, respondents were asked: In the light of global decline in the price of crude oil, how much should a litre of petrol be sold in Nigeria? Opinions varied on this subject, as majority of respondents (53 percent) would like to see a litre of petrol being sold at between ₦50 – ₦65; with 62 percent of this category resident in the North-Central zone. Generally speaking, ₦65 was reported to be the average amount Nigerians would like a litre of petrol to be sold in the country.

Finally, on the issue of availability of petrol, respondents were asked: How would you describe the availability of petrol products in your locality? Interestingly, the poll results revealed that majority of Nigerians interviewed (77 percent) claimed the product is readily available in their locality, with respondents from the South-West zone (88 percent) accounting for the largest proportion in this category. This was followed by the South-East zone with 85 percent availability, even though petrol is sold at an average of ₦128 per litre in the zone.

In summary, this latest poll by NOIPolls has further strengthened recent findings from NBS that Nigerians currently buy petrol at ₦116, above the newly approved pump price of ₦86 and ₦86.50k per litre. The poll also revealed that 77 percent of Nigerians affirmed the availability of the product nationwide. However, only 8 percent claimed that they bought the product at ₦86 or ₦86.50k per litre; with the majority of this meagre proportion residing in the North-Central geo-political zone. In conclusion, these findings hold very important policy implications for the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) amongst others. While DPR appears to have stepped up with monitoring oversight of filling stations across the country, compliance levels are still very much dependent on sources of petroleum products. In order words, where Independent petroleum marketers source their products from and the landing costs to their filling station would determine how much they would decide to sell. There’s need for the Ministry to keep track of cost of petroleum products at the various depots and jetties across the country. It is simply anti-capitalistic and unhealthy to expect petroleum marketers to sell at a pump below their cost of purchase. Besides, price variations may need to be considered across regions to adequately cater for differentials in landing costs to filling stations, which tend to ultimately decide how much marketers are willing to sell at the pump.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of January 11th 2016. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited is the No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, We 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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