The Lagos State Government has advised residents and motorists to desist from panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol caused by planned removal of subsidy.
Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos state gave the advice on Friday at the monitoring exercise of some petrol stations on Lagos Island and its environs.
The monitoring was to ascertain the prices and availability of the products.
Our correspondent recalls that President Bola Tinubu on in his inaugural speech on May 29, said the outgoing administration made no provision for fuel subsidy in the 2023 budget.
The President said that his administration would remove subsidy as it could no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.
Our correspondent reports that at the NNPC Mega station, Kingsway Raod, Ikoyi, petrol was being sold at N488.00 per liter, while motorists are on queue to purchase the product.
The Station Manager, Mr Ganiyu Abiola assured the deputy governor that there was enough petrol supply, adding that there was no need for panic buying.
The NNPC at Awolowo Road was also dispensing PMS at the regulated pump price.
Also, at Total Energies, Sura, Lagos Island, the sale of petrol was ongoing with long queues while the station manager, Mr Isa Mohammed told the deputy governor that there was regular supply of PMS.
The manager also added that there was no need for panic buying while advising motorists to be patient with the new administration.
However, Total petrol station at Keffi Street in Ikoyi was not dispensing.
Addressing newsmen after the exercise, Hamzat acknowledged the ripple effect the price increase would cause but expressed optimism that it was in the best interest of all Nigerians.
“The regime of fuel subsidy have ended and sadly, Lagos is always the epicenter of everything.
“Over 40 per cent of cars in Nigeria are in Lagos, therefore, whatever affects PMS also affects Lagos.
“The challenge is not about scarcity of fuel but the pricing that has been increased.
“Our duty as government is to make sure that there is no scarcity, so that the people do not engage in panic buying,” he said.
According to Hamzat: Nigerians have suffered for so long as a result of the Petrol subsidy.
He explained that 87 per cent of Nigerians who could afford the price were the ones enjoying the fuel subsidy at the expense of the 13 per cent of under privileged people.
“We are spending trillions of Naira on subsidising for the substantially rich people while 13 per cent of the population that are less-privileged suffer the inefficiency.
“This is no longer sustainable,” he stated.
Hamzat added that one of the challenges faced by the country was insufficient revenue to take care of the teeming population.
Speaking on the benefits of the removal of the fuel subsidy, the deputy governor assured that the petrol subsidy revenue if ploughed back into the system would enable government invest in other sectors of the economy.
He, therefore, assured Nigerians that the money saved from the removal of the petrol subsidy would be expended on education, health,security and other sectors so as to enable Nigerians enjoy dividends of democracy.
He expressed optimism that the President would harness the revenue from petrol subsidy for other needs of the citizens.
“Although the effects of the subsidy removal on the people is much due to cost of transportation and other things but we just need to give government time to put things in order.
“It is a gradual process, the only thing is that it will get a bit tougher before it gets better,” he said.