Presidential spokesperson claimed the PDP-led administration sold Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), better known as petrol, for N600 per litre on Easter Sunday in 2013.
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Verdict: The claim by Garba Shehu that the PDP-led government sold fuel for N600 per litre is misleading. There has been no time in Nigeria's history when fuel was officially sold by any government for N600 per litre.
On Tuesday, September 8, The Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Garba Shehu, claimed in a tweet posted via his official Twitter account, @GarShehu, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government sold fuel for N600 per litre.
Shehu attached the front page of The Punch newspaper published on that day to substantiate his claim.
The paper's purported front page reads: Petrol Sells for N600 per litre, with a rider; Fuel scarcity forces police to cut back patrol.
First, the attached image of The Punch newspaper is blurry and it is difficult to ascertain whether the date on the page is 2013 as the presidential spokesperson claimed or 2015.
A reverse image search conducted to determine the authenticity of the photo also did not show any helpful result.
However, further checks by Legit.ng finds another front page of The Punch newspaper which was published on Monday, May 25, 2015, sharing at least one similarity with the version shared by the presidential spokesperson which he claimed was published "on Easter Sunday in 2013".
On the upper-right of the version shared by Shehu, there is a story with the headline: Rivers CPs, Military Commanders Reporting to Patience Jonathan - Amaechi.
Curiously, the story still appears on the front page of The Punch newspaper published on Monday, May 25, 2015.
Also, though the main stories on the two front pages are about the fuel problem in the country, the headlines are different.
This questions the authenticity of the image shared by the presidential spokesperson.
In addition, a Google search of the headline "Petrol Sells for N600 per litre" does not yield any relevant link from the newspaper.
Fuel never sold officially for N600 per litre in Nigeria
Assuming fuel was indeed sold for N600 per litre in 2013 as the presidential spokesperson claimed, it was never the official price.
Below is a breakdown of how the price of petrol has changed between 2000 and 2020, according to BBC Pidgin.
- June 2000 - N22 per litre.
- January 2002 - From N22 to N26 per litre.
- June 2003 - N26 to N40 per litre.
- May 2004 - N40 to N50 per litre.
- August 2004 - N50 to N65 per litre.
- May 2007 - N65 to N75 per litre (reduced to N65 per litre in June 2007 after protest).
- January 2012 - N65 to N141 per litre (after removal of fuel subsidy). The fuel price later reduced to N97 per litre after protest.
- January 2015 - N97 to N87 (crash in global oil price).
- May 2016 - N145 per litre.
- March 2020 - Reduced from N145 to about N125 per litre (after crash in crude oil prices and removal of fuel subsidy).
- May 2020 - The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced new pump price band to between N121.50 to N123.50 per litre.
- July 2020 - New PMS pump price band of N140.80 - N143.80 per litre.
- August - From N143.50 to N148.50.
- September - Between N150 to N162.
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Claiming the PDP-led government sold fuel for N600 per litre is misleading. Fuel prices could only have been sold at such a price unofficially as a result of scarcity. A similar situation also happened in 2019, under the Buhari-led government, according to a report by The Punch.
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