Barely 24 hours after the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu, the price of petrol increased by 200 per cent in Awka, Anambra’s capital.
Tinubu, the newly sworn-in president, while delivering his inaugural speech, said the fuel subsidy was no longer sustainable.
The correspondent who monitored the situation observed that most filling stations in the state capital were closed while the few open ones sell between N620 and N635 per litre.
Long queues have also returned in most filling stations owned by independent marketers while the major marketers were closed.
Damian Okeke-Ogene, the national vice president, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, expressed dismay at the development, noting that it would worsen the masses’ plights.
Mr Okeke-Ogene said the benefit of the subsidy removal remained tiny to the public’s understanding, noting that its possibility and benefit to the masses was not still unclear.
“We heard there are lots of fraud being perpetrated in the oil subsidy, but the effort of its removal by the past administration under President Goodluck Jonathan was opposed by the opposition party of All Progressives Congress (APC) then.
“President Buhari’s government did not remove the subsidy; I wonder about the rush by Tinubu. The new president should have necessary plans in place to cushion any hardship as a result of this action,” he said.
Mr Okeke-Ogene said after the pronouncement, filling stations stopped dispensing the product, and now the price had tripled.
Mr Fabian Chima, a trader, described the pronouncement as the worst mistake by the new president.
He said Mr Tinubu should have learnt from the experience of the naira redesign, which made life unbearable for many Nigerians.
”How will the masses survive with the increase in the pump price of fuel occasioned by the subsidy removal?” he queried.
Ugochukwu Okeke, a private fuel station operator, said they hoped the new government would provide a friendly business environment for them to ensure that petroleum products would come to them at a reasonable cost to avoid hiking the price.
Mr Okeke said the dealers would always wish to contribute their part in providing a happy state for the people, knowing that the product was a social service but not to strangle their own business.
News Agency of Nigeria