…petrol to sell for N145 per liter
…count us out of this increase- NLC
The federal government on Wednesday laid to rest speculations about plan to remove fuel subsidy as it has announced a full deregulation of the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry, pushing the price of petrol to about N145 a litre.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, who announced the policy change in Abuja on Wednesday afternoon said the move was to increase and stabilise the supply of the product.
The Minister said in a statement that the decision followed an outcome of a meeting of all stakeholders in the petroleum sector presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
He said marketers are now free to import the product subject to the existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by regulatory agencies.
“In order to increase and stabilise the supply of the product, any Nigerian entity is now free to import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by Regulatory Agencies,” Kachikwu said.
“All Oil Marketers will be allowed to import PMS on the basis of FOREX procured from secondary sources and accordingly PPPRA template will reflect this in the pricing of the product.
“Pursuant to this, PPPRA has informed me that it will be announcing a new price band effective today, 11th May, 2016 and that the new price for PMS will not be above N145 per litre.”
But in a swift reaction, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has said that it would resist the new price increase announced by the federal government.
NLC General Secretary, Dr, Peter Ozo-Eson in a statement issued shortly after the announcement said the labour body was never part of such decision noting that the federal government was advised at the meeting to shelve the idea till the Congress was able to meet withs its appropriate organs.
He said that the government’s claim that the decision was reached at a stakeholders meeting which has representatives in attendance was ridiculous and fallacious.
“With the imposition on the citizenry of criminal and unjustifiable electricity tariff and resultant darkness and other economic challenges brought on by the devaluation of the Naira and spiraling inflation, the least one had expected at this point in time was another policy measure that would further make life more miserable for the ordinary Nigerian” he said
He lamented that the latest increase is the most audacious and cruel in the history of product price increase as it represents not only about 80 per cent increase but it is tied to the black market exchange rate.
The NLC further argued that the process through which government arrived at the price was both illogical and illegal as the board of the PPPRA was not duly constituted.
” In our previous statements and communiques, we had stressed the need for reconstituting the boards of NNPC and PPPRA and wean both away from the overbearing influence of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who has assumed the role of a Sole Administrator.
The allusion to the fact that the this increase was arrived at after due consultation with stake holders is not only ridiculous and fallacious, it goes to show that the brief meeting held today during which government was advised shelve the idea until at least it meets with the appropriate organs of the Congress was in bad faith.
Accordingly, we urge the government to revert the prices to what they were. We would want to put everybody on notice that we shall resist this criminal increase with every means legitimate.
Already an emergency NEC meeting has been scheduled for Friday, May 13, 2016 to decide on the next line of action. Meanwhile, our affiliates, state councils and civil society allies are requested to commence mobilization immediately.” he said