Meanwhile, responding to public outrage over soaring living costs, the Kenyan government has taken a u-turn on its policy by reintroducing a minor subsidy aimed at stabilizing retail fuel prices for the next 30 days. The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) confirmed on Monday that the maximum retail price of a litre (0.26 gal) of petrol would hold steady at 194.68 shillings ($1.35), saving consumers from a potential 7.33 shillings ($0.05) increase. This additional cost burden will be absorbed by a government-established price stabilization fund.

In Nigeria, industry analysts interpret the announcement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) regarding the absence of plans to hike petroleum retail prices as a potential indicator of the government’s intent to reintroduce a form of petrol subsidy. While no official confirmation has emerged, there is growing speculation that the government is contemplating revisiting the subsidy framework.

A trustworthy source revealed that this move is driven by the necessity to counter the escalating pump prices of petrol, which have adversely impacted the general populace’s cost of living. The source contends that given the government’s lack of influence over international crude oil markets—an essential determinant affecting the cost of imported refined products—reintroducing a subsidy appears to be the only viable recourse.

Offering insight into this development, Dr. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), expressed, “I believe this is the likely outcome. Regardless of international oil price fluctuations, the government might maintain the present price. Citizens are already strained to a breaking point, unable to withstand further fuel price hikes.”

Moreover, an additional reliable source disclosed the circulating rumor of the government’s contemplation to revert to the subsidy regime. This potential course of action is seen as a measure to counter the mounting petrol prices and their subsequent toll on the overall cost of living for citizens. The source reiterated that given the government’s limited control over international crude oil markets—a pivotal determining factor in refined product costs—the subsidy reconsideration seems to be the most viable alternative.

Earlier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had categorically stated its lack of intention to raise petrol pump prices. This affirmation came in response to media reports suggesting an impending increase from the current N617 per litre to a range between N720 and N750. The NNPCL clarified its stance in a statement released via its official channels.

It’s worth noting that the NNPCL began adjusting fuel pump prices in May, prompted by the withdrawal of petroleum subsidies, which allowed market forces to dictate prices. Nigeria has also experienced significant currency depreciation, with the exchange rate reaching an unprecedented high of N950 in the parallel market.