By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Following the alleged pump price increase of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, to N212.61, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, at the weekend, kicked against every move to actualize that.
A template released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, which increased petrol pump price to N212.61 per litre led to partial scarcity that has lingered for over one week with motorists still queuing at various filling stations across the country.
What’s FG’s effort to improve local production of PMS? — Global Rights
The Country Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, said, “Clearly we can expect a jump in the cost of living without commensurate increase in incomes. The government recently approved a hike in the cost of electricity. With the increase in the cost of energy, transportation and production costs can expect to cause a hike in everything! I think that the more important question to ask is what has the Minister of Petroleum Resources done to ensure local production?
“And mind you, he is the longest serving minister, and one for which we have barely felt any impact! If he claims that our current refineries are too dilapidated to overhaul, that should not take six years to discover!! By now new refineries should have been completed, understanding how much it is costing us to sit by the Niger and wash our hands with spittle. If our Minister of Petroleum Resources is not efficient, we should FIRE him and hire competent hands that understand their role!”
It’s sad, unfortunate for Nigerians — CN
The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, said, “Basically, it is very sad that we are having to go through this fuel price hike again under the Buhari regime, almost about six times now fuel price has been hiked with a completely docile labour, many Civil Societies have given up, the citizens are tired, and the opposition is in comatose
“And it is unfortunate that we are played by one of the worst regime to ever govern this country, ironically President Buhari who promised change, who cried, called, organizing for support, who blackmailed PDP government, who criticized fuel price increment who called fuel subsidy a fraud, he said all kinds of things. But today reverse is the case, he has completely gone against everything he campaigned for and stood for.
“It is unfortunate that the Nigeria Labour Congress is almost dead, has one of the worst Presidents in the history of the organization. Not one single protest from them, he is just comfortably sitting at labour house doing nothing, it is tragic and unfortunate.
“Nigerians must constitutionally democratically resist this unpatriotic act into increase of our suffering. It’s like the president has taken a vow to punish the Nigerian people.
“And I am using this opportunity to reach out to the President to apologize on behalf of Nigerians, that if there is any way Nigeria has offended him he should forgive us. Because I don’t understand how a President will keep bringing suffering after suffering.”
Unacceptable, we demand suspension — CAPPA
The Director of Programmes, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, Philip Jakpor, said, “Inflation will spiral, cost of doing business will go up and cost of living will increase. It will literarily be hell for the downtrodden.
“It is a very disturbing development because the average Nigerian, already burdened by the inconsistent policies of the current administration, will now be inflicted with more hardship. It is totally unacceptable and should be resisted. It is an ill-conceived initiative and should be reversed immediately.”
Prices of food will skyrocket — RIMAN
The National President, Rice Millers Association of Nigeria, RIMAN, Peter Dama, said, “Cost of production will definitely be high as transportation cost will skyrocket. Prices of goods generally will go up not only on rice but on everything.
“I hope there will not be an industrial action by labour unions that will disrupt economic activities. Government should properly explain to Nigerians how it arrived at fixing of the price rate at N212 per liter in order to carry everybody along.”
FG not showing sincerity in petrol pump price hike —Yiaga
The Programme Manager, Elections, Yiaga Africa, Paul James, said, “There is a lot of myth and insincerity in the way Nigerian Government is handling the issue of petrol pump price. For instance, on March 1, 2020, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC said in a statement that it was not contemplating any rise in the price of petrol in March until all negotiations with labour are concluded, but barely two weeks afterwards without due consultations, Nigerians are greeted with the heartbreaking news of price adjustments from N162 to N212.61.
“To begin with, it is quite unfortunate that the country witnesses three increases in the pump price of petrol in three months despite battling realities of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The present hike is not only daring but anti-people. As such, it places more burden on poor Nigerian households. It is time to call the government and its various organs to order, they cannot continue to arrogate and misappropriate powers without considering its economic and security implications to the entire country.
“In as much we expect the market forces to regulate the cost of the petroleum products, Nigerians should expect a likely upsurge in prices of goods and services and by extension, the cost of living.
PMS and other petroleum products are very strategic commodities, so you cannot allow the prices of these commodities to be determined wholly by the marketers.
“However, market forces should not be determining cost of fuel in a country that does not have functioning refineries. If Nigeria had functioning refineries, access to the product will come at cheaper cost with more competition by marketers.
“Unfortunately, the nation is still importing refined petrol and citizens continue to bear the brunt of fluctuating market prices. By implications, the likely increase in the cost of transportation will see more residents living too far from their businesses and offices attempting to relocate. This will also cause an increase in the price of houses in commercial locations in different states of the federation.
“In all, any additional pain at this time certainly will not be taken lightly. It is expected that both civil society organizations and labour union should rise to the occasion to salvage the situation. Any increase at this point in time should be strongly condemned by all. The government should stop pushing Nigerians to the wall.
The increased fuel price will reduce the purchasing power of farmers and the average Nigerian, thereby affecting their livelihoods negatively. This is simply because their incomes will not increase along with the fuel price hike.