Fuel Price Hike: Kwarans slam FG

...say increment 'll worsen inflation, poverty

By Mike Adeyemi
Cross section of Kwarans have slammed the Federal Government over what they described as insensitivity to the plight of the masses.
This came on heels of the announcement of likely hike in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol in April, by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking to this medium separately, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Of Nigeria (IPMAN) Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), motorists among others blasted the President Buhari-led administration for its “anti-people” policies.
They lamented that the proposed increase in petrol price would worsen inflation and poverty, as well as lead to the collapse of many businesses.
Recall that the Federal Government had increased the pump price of petroleum in the space of one year.
Following the deregulation of petrol prices in September last year, marketers across the country adjusted their pump prices to between N158 and N162 per litre to reflect the increase in global oil prices.
However, the liability Nigerians fear most, fuel subsidy, seems real and active after the Federal Government Friday admitted paying as much as N120 billion to subsidise the price of petrol monthly.
This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, at the fifth edition of the special ministerial briefings coordinated by the presidential communications team.
Speaking to our reporter on this development, the state Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade, Olu Adewara said the proposed fuel hike was unacceptable.
“When you increase the fuel price, this will have spiral effects on other businesses. The farmers and local producers have to pay more for their products to get to the main road or town. You have people moving goods and commodities from the North to the South and from the South to the North.
“This will result in increase in the prices of the goods. This spiral effect will boomerang and it will lead to inflation. Already, there is inflation and we don’t want another increase,” he pointed out.
On his part, the state Public Relation Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigerian (IPMAN), Alh. Sanusi Yunus said the solution to the rising fuel price was for the Federal Government to accelerate the process of domestic refining of petroleum products.
The IPMAN boss noted that the government did not have the fiscal capacity to sustain a fuel subsidy regime.
“To cushion the effect of petrol price increase on domestic prices, there is an urgent need to scale up investment in mass transit transportation systems.
“The power sector recovery programme should also be accelerated to reduce the dependence of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on petrol-powered electricity generators.
“It is sad that most of the time the Federal Government don’t considered the masses in it decision. The major thing we need now in Nigeria is refinery. It is the refinery that will bring an end to the incessant problem in the sector,” Yunus submitted.
Similarly, a motorist, Ibrahim Ahmed knocked the Federal Government for the proposed increase in petrol price, stating that with the situation, the government had shown insensitivity to the citizens’ plight at a time when Nigerians were struggling with hunger and poverty.
Also expressing frustration over the issue, Fatimoh Abdulsalam, a trader said, “People can barely survive on two square meals. People are suffering. Somebody cannot wake up to (hear) good news from the FG.
“What kind of country is this? The country is getting harder [to live in] by the hour. Other countries are reducing the suffering of their citizens especially during this pandemic. Our own is increasing it [suffering] ‘geometrically’ in all sectors,” she lamented.

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