In Lagos, gas stations reduce petrol price to attract customers
When the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, was pegged at N145 per litre early this year after from N87 per litre after yet another protracted scarcity, Nigerians were left dismayed, coming on the heels of reduced purchasing and spending power, as well as crashing value of the naira.
Filling stations quickly adjusted their pumps to reflect the new price and the product, which was hitherto very scarce, became readily available at virtually all stations, big and small, major or independent marketers.
But as the economy situation bites harder and people device means to cut costs, petrol has become a luxury that many people are trying to do without, especially as electricity supply has improved in some areas across the country.
As Nigerians struggle to make ends meet, this is reflecting in the sale of petrol and petroleum products in general.
A visit to many filling stations revealled that most of them are selling between N135 and N143 per litre in a bid to attract customers and jack up sales.
Wheel Oil station located at Iyana-Itire on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway has reduced the pump price by N3, a move that has not really done much.
According to an attendant who didn’t want his name in print: “Sales has been quite poor, to tell you the truth. I know how much we used to sell before, but these days it is terrible.
“It seems people are no longer driving their cars as much as before and have reduced the way they put on their generators.”
It was the same tale at Shark station in the same axis. The station’s manager, who gave his name as Samson, confirmed that sales had been poor, adding: “People are no longer buying as before and this is because of the situation of the country. Is it someone that has not eaten well that would remember to buy petrol for generator?
“I can categorically tell you that the situation was far better when the product was being sold at N87. Then, we used to sell over 5,000 litres daily, but now we struggle to sell 2,000 litres in a day. What does that tell you?
“I am even hearing some rumours that they want to increase the price again. They shouldn’t even try that, unless they want this country to burn. A lot of people have turned their vehicles to kabu-kabu just in a bid to make ends meet.
“The ones that did not turn theirs to kabu-kabu have packed them at home and are jumping danfo and okada.
“We are selling at N143 presently, as we cannot afford to give much in profit margin because of the high cost of running business here.
“We even had to let go of some of our attendants when we couldn’t keep up anymore.
“We are begging government to look into this situation and bring down the price, so that things can go back to normal,” he lamented.
Sherfex filling station at Ilasa area of Lagos was selling at N142, a move the station’s manager, Akinola Yusuf, said was to attract more buyers and make things easier for Nigerians.
He admitted that sales could be better and even himself doesn’t put on his own generator at home again until 8 p.m. and promptly switches it off at 11 p.m., all in a bid to save cost.
“The present economic situation is preventing people from buying more. People hardly fill up their tanks again; they just buy a little.
“But I believe it would still get better with time. If landing costs reduce, we would definitely reduce the price even more,” he said.
But it was different at some stations, as most major marketers on Lawanson and Ojuelegba roads still sold at N145.
At some filling stations in the Ijegun/Ikotun axis, sales have dropped substantially.
The manager of ADMOS station, Akinwale Nureli, told The Guardian that they sell at N142 per litre in a bid to attract more customers, Segun of Premex station at Ile-Ibadan on Ijegun road said they sell at N145 and still enjoy patronage.
An attendant at the Wale-Ola station in Abaranje, who did not want his name in print, confirmed that they sell at N142 per litre, but added that nothing much has changed, in terms of patronage.
Some customers at the filling stations complained of ‘doctored’ pumps to maximise profit at the expense of Nigerians.