ON November 15, 2023, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos state during the 2023 general election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, claimed that the cost of buying Premium Motor Spirits also known as petrol has increased by 143% in Nigeria under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Nigerian government.
Rhodes-Vivour made this claim while responding to an X user, @JohnKolawole20, who opined that the cost of living crisis is not peculiar to Nigeria but every part of the world.
“There is hike on everything in the world. In UK, we bought fuel for £1.38 now £1.52. 1kg chicken now £2.69 from £1.85. The world is going through one thing or the other. There was a protest in Germany, Italy and London for hikes,” Kolawole said.
Responding to the post, Rhodes-Vivour said:
“So you compare a 9.2% fuel increase in the UK to a 143% fuel increase in Nigeria. Then you ignore the social welfare net that exist for these people, the fact that these protesters have access to free, quality healthcare, Access to subsidized high-quality education, unemployment benefits. They have access to real student loans, not propaganda audio one , They have access to high paying jobs and an enabling environment to grow. They have a thriving, productive economy, and their currency is not in a nose dive. Stop comparing apples and bitterleaf.”
The cost of PMS increased by 143% in Nigeria under Tinubu government.
Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is MOSTLY TRUE.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), petrol prices in Nigeria reached an average of 626 naira per litre in September 2023, the highest ever, after President Tinubu scrapped fuel subsidy in May 2023. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had earlier in June 2023 attributed the rise in the petroleum pump prices in the country to ‘market forces’.
The President had unequivocally declared that ‘fuel subsidy is gone’ in his inaugural speech at Eagle Square, in Abuja, on May 29, 2023, stating that the country could no longer sustain the subsidy regime due to drying financial resources.
The ICIR reported that the removal of the subsidy has led to a spike in the pump price of petrol, which also resulted in an increment in the cost of goods and services. The development has led to a surge in transport fares across the country, leaving commuters in great agony.
The move pushed the price of PMS from about N198/litre in May to the current rate of N617/litre. This represents a 211.6% increase higher than 143% quoted by Rhodes-Vivour. The increase has been attributed to the fall of naira coupled with the rise in crude oil prices which are all mounting pressure on the cost of PMS.
In addition, the NBS data obtained show that the average retail price paid by consumers for Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) in May 2023 before Tinubu became the Nigerian president was N254.06. As of September, 2023 the average pump price stood at N626.21. This marks 146.481% increase, also higher than the figure quoted by Rhodes-Vivour.
The claim by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour that the price of PMS has increased by 143% is MOSTLY TRUE, as data obtained from the NBS show that the figure is slightly higher.