Petroleum pump price
If the current trend continues, average daily spending could break through the bench mark on a routine basis, and thus denote a return to levels that characterized high spending far beyond consumer-earning.
Growth in spending is a constant, especially in Nigeria with its high ostentatious life-style.
Other attitudinal data show that consumers are still more likely to spend more, while many continue to claim that spending less is the “new normal” in their lives, consequent upon evident meagre resources. Additionally, Gallup’s measure of job creation slipped slightly at the end of last year, suggesting some caution in concluding that the economy is on a straight linear upward trajectory.
Owing from the above-painted scenario, but with particular focus on the reason for this article, we should particularly look at consumers’ experience in line with petroleum pump price, focusing on the last month of 2017, and going forward.
To consumers, generally, the indications from prevalent economic environment, and especially with the ramblings about petroleum supply and retail-end pump price uncertainty, portends hopelessness; an experience that indicates disregard from among those trusted for public welfare-focused institutional system management. Panic level among consumers has been aggressively heightened to a dangerous level.
During the military era, petroleum pump price fluctuation was the norm, but that changed appreciatively when constitutional government replaced military governance. That change in political leadership brought hope of a better consumer-experience, based on petroleum products supply, distribution and pricing with all its over-riding influence on consumption pattern in general.
Sadly, experience of the recent past is tampering with that level of ‘comfort’ delicately; seemingly, our politico-economic system seems to disallow regulation, far from the grand-rule of constitutionalism; there is no other logical way to explain the system disruption or better still, abuse, targeted at dehumanisation its people.
In an attempt to bring stability in the sector, the DPR team monitored petrol stations as they dispensed products at official pump-price to the delight of consumers in Awka and its environs. However, there were reports of sealed stations around same axis, on account of pump-price manipulation.
A petrol station around Nanka, Orumba North (same area), was allegedly sealed up by regulatory authorities for same reason. Those who lifted PMS from the NNPC were supposed to sell at N145, and any marketer that fails to comply with the directive are charged non-compliance fee and such stations are possibly sealed. Marketers who fail to show proof that they procured the product at above the depot price unless they did not have excuses to fleece their customers.
Despite this entire attempt, reports are that some petrol stations in the country are still tempted to tamper with the statutory instruction of regulated pump-price of N145 per litre; a situation that has made life unbearable for consumers. Petty traders on their part, have also hiked prices on account of hike in petroleum pump price, further compounding consumers’ woes. It is all a vicious circle playing out the MULTIPLIER CONCEPT.
Now that this is happening and consumers are at the receiving end, regulatory agencies must be challenged in their role as watch-dogs. They must reflect on their effectiveness, and position to help this country grow, by doing the bits and pieces they can put together individually and collectively.
In all of these, the CONSUMER remains the king. Commerce or market is dependent upon consumer well-being; we have always noted the fact that we are all consumers, and that that which comes around, goes around as a rule. Whereas it is logically explainable that the retail trader will depend on the excuse of petroleum pump price increase to hike retail prices, it does not protect him/her from the consequence of that action.
However, Consumers can exert their powers to correct market manipulations that constitute consumer rights violation. To begin with, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is always ready to act in defence of consumers. So the most-assured first-step for us consumers is to report any form of consumer rights violation to the CPC, without exemption of any market segment or category.
Consumers must know they have a ready protection in the CPC, as a start point, if nothing else. And that is the reason of our being at the CONSUMERS’ ASSEMBLY; we are positioned and empowered to advocate for consumers. All we need do is take advantage of these opportunities and help brands play according to established rules, and for the common good of us all.
Our commercial space will be a better place for us all to progress if we observe the operative rules and regulations… those who take advantage of the slightest opportunity to tamper with petroleum pump-price, are being unkind to us all, including themselves.
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