Residents of Enugu, Friday afternoon, cried out following the hike in transport fares within the city.
This followed the sudden change in the price of PMS from N175 to N212.16 in some filling stations.
THE WHISTLER gathered that the increase in the fuel price took effect from around 1pm as some filling stations sold the essential commodity at N175 per litre earlier today.
However, quite a number of the filling stations shut, claiming they do not have commodities to dispense.
A teacher, Mr Kate Idoko, said, “Enugu people overdue things. Within a spate of an hour, the new fuel price has been effected everywhere. Even commercial drivers that had the commodity before the hike have joined the bandwagon in increasing the transport fares.”
Motorists were seen queuing at few filling stations still selling at the old price. A manager in one of the filling stations still selling at N175 said, “I’m yet to receive directives from my boss on any change in the price.”
Meanwhile, transport fares have increased in the state capital. A trip from IMT to New Market which hitherto cost N50 is now N70. That from Old Park to Agani road also increased.
A bus driver told our correspondent that although he bought at the normal price, he had added some percentage to fares he was charging passengers.
According to him, “I didn’t cause any problem in Nigeria. You wake and any problem that you see, you face it. Any drop I carry now attracts an additional N20.”
Recall that the Federal Government, through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, had announced an upward adjustment in the price of fuel to N212.16 from N164 per liter.
The Agency, which disclosed this in its monthly template released on Thursday night had stated that landing cost for petrol per liter is N189.61, with the ex-depot price standing at N206.42 per liter.
Shortly after the announcement, the Federal Government said it is not planning to increase the price of petrol in March.
The plan not to hike price of petrol was confirmed by the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation on Friday.
The decision of the NNPC not to increase price was to allow conclusion of the ongoing engagements with Organized Labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.
But hours after news of the latest upward price adjustment went round, the PPPRA retreated and pulled down the controversial price template from its website.
In its place the agency had published a notice: “Please be informed that published prices are only indicative of current market trends.”
The template was issued at a time the Federal Government was still negotiating with Labour.
Findings revealed that the PPPRA Boss did not get approval of President Muhammadu Buhari before making the new pricing template public.
But speaking on the development, the PPPRA Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu on Friday said the Agency had reversed the price hike decision.
Saidu said that the Guiding Prices posted on the PPPRA’s website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in pump price of PMS.