The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and civil society organisations (CSOs) are among those who kicked against the sudden increase in the pump price of petrol yesterday,leadership report.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had, again, yesterday, raised the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, by an average of 15 per cent across the country, sending shock waves around the country, with other outlets around the country adjusting their prices within minutes.

Many outlets benchmark the prices of their petroleum products with that of the NNPCL. Shortly after NNPCL adjusted its pump prices, prices shot up across other petrol stations.

In Abuja and environs the pump price rose from N537 to N617.

Some outlets in Abuja raised prices to N620 while in Lagos, the NNPCL retail outlet in Ikoyi was selling at N568/litre instead of N490. By noon in Abuja, few outlets, including A.A Rano, were selling below N600 per litre.

In May, a day after President Tinubu was sworn into office, fuel price rose from N195 per litre to N537 per litre, after Tinubu’s inaugural speech, where he said fuel subsidy was gone.

However, as queues resurfaced yesterday morning upon insinuation that NNPCL wanted to jack up the pump price, motorists besieged outlets of NNPCL and major marketers to buy at old price.

At the time LEADERSHIP went round, none of the stations around Ojota axis in Lagos were selling.

Amid Hoarding, Fuel Sells For N670 In Ogun, Oyo

Yesterday, the dispensing price of the product rose to N670 in Ogun and Oyo states.

This is coming just as fuel dealers, particularly independent marketers, who had supply of the product, also resorted to hoarding the product across the state.

In Abeokuta metropolis, the state capital, PMS was sold to motorists at a price ranging between N650 and N670, while it sold for N620 in Ijebu-Ode and Sango-Ota areas, all at few petrol stations owned by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

When contacted, IPMAN state chairman, Otunba Femi Adelaja, expressed surprise at the new pump price regime which, he said, caught members of his association unawares.

“We are taken by surprise too, but I want to state that we will need to meet with necessary stakeholders on this matter before we can make any categorical stance on this matter,” he said.

In Oyo State, the residents have decried the sudden increase in the pump price of petrol as the product now sells for N617 in NNPCL stations.

The residents lamented as the product which sold between N500 and N510 was adjusted to N617 at NNPCL stations in some parts of Ibadan.

While lamenting the situation, some residents of the ancient city who spoke on condition of anonymity said it would bring more hardship to the people as the cost of transportation and food would increase.

They described the situation as a calculated attempt to reduce the purchasing power of Nigerians and increase hunger in the land.

They, however, appealed to President Bola Tinubu to increase minimum wage, provide meaningful palliatives and fast-track them to cushion the hardship Nigerians face at the moment.

On his part, the group chief executive officer (GCEO) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, explained that the increase in the of petrol prices was occasioned by market realities  dictated by deregulation of the petroleum sector.

He spoke to journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly after a closed-door meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Kyari was accompanied by chief executive officer of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, who further explained that petrol importers are factoring in the current international price of crude oil – at $80 per barrel – as well as freight and distribution costs, hence the pump price hike.

Asked by journalists to explain the price hike, Kyari said, “I don’t have the details at this moment.  We have the marketing wing of our company. They adjust prices depending on the market realities.

“This is really what is happening; this is the meaning of making sure that the market regulates itself so that prices will go up and sometimes they will come down also.  This is what we have seen and, in reality, this is how the market works.”

The NNPCL boss assured Nigerians that there was enough supply of petrol to meet current demand, even for the next one month.

“We don’t have supply issues. There is robust supply.  We have over 32 days of supply in the country”, he stated.

Nonetheless, he stressed that “market forces will regulate the market. Prices will go down sometimes; sometimes it will go up. But there will be stability of supply and I’m also assuring Nigerians that this is the best way to go forward so that we can adjust prices when market forces come into play.

“Market forces have started to play; people have started having confidence in the market.  Private sector people are importing products, but there is no way they can recover their cost if they cannot take market reflective costs.”

Giving further insight, Farouk Ahmed said, “The market will determine itself and as you saw back in early June when prices came out, it was based on the cost of importation plus other logistics of distribution and, of course, the profit margin by the importer.

“This market is deregulated; it is open to all participants. As I mentioned also yesterday when I was in Lagos, we have about 56 marketing companies that applied and obtained licenses to import. Out of those, 10 of them have indicated to supply within the third quarter, which is July, August, September.

He explained that the oil firm was a regulator and not a marketer.

“So, when you say market forces are working, basically, what it is that you buy; you consider the price of crude going up. A couple of weeks ago, the price of crude was hovering around $70/barrel.  Now it’s hovering around $80/barrel. So, the crude price also drives the product price. Because the importers are importing, they are basing it on the cost of importation plus the freight and other cost elements in terms of local distribution,” Ahmed said.

NLC Rejects New Fuel Price, Asks FG To Retrace Its Steps

The Nigeria Labour Congress yesterday kicked against the increment of the pump price of petrol to N617, saying the development was unacceptable to Nigerians.

Reacting to the development, head of information and public affairs of the congress, Comrade Benson Upah, told LEADERSHIP that the increase poses a significant threat to the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry, their businesses, incomes and livelihood.

The labour centre told the federal government to retrace its steps from the journey of possibly driving fuel towards N1,000 per litre.

He said the congress is yet to be convinced how the development is helpful to the people or the economy or how it renews the hope of the people.

He said, “This increment is unacceptable to us at the Congress because it poses a significant threat to the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry, their businesses, incomes, livelihood, everything!

“We had said earlier that no reasonable government acting reasonably                                        leaves its national currency entirely to the storms of the Market as this could lead to unintended consequences”.

“The new pump price is suggestive of the fact that the pump price could rise to N1000 or more per litre any time soon. It makes planning difficult and life uncertain. We advise the government to retrace its steps from this journey. The people are not happy. Their calmness should not be taken for granted”, he added.

CSOs Reject Pump Price Hike, N8,000 Palliatives

A civil society organisation, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has denounced the increase in the pump price of petrol from N540 per litre to N617.

This is even as the CSO condemned President Bola Tinubu’s initiative to transfer N8,000 to the bank accounts of 12 million households for six months to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, saying the palliatives will have no impact on the lives of Nigerians.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja the president of CLO, Igho Akeregha, said the civil society organisation will reject all obnoxious policies introduced by the federal government.

He, however, called for unity and mobilisation, as he encouraged Nigerians to reclaim their country from the grip of a few individuals who are holding it hostage.

He said only by joining forces and demanding ethical leadership can Nigeria avoid further deterioration and secure a brighter future for its citizens.

He said the allocation of funds to various entities, including N70bn to the National Assembly and N35bn the National Judicial Council, and only N8,000 to the poor from the $800m from the World Bank, has raised concerns about corruption and a conspiracy to undermine the judiciary.

Igho stressed that it is crucial to differentiate between politicians who genuinely care for the country and those driven solely by self-interest.

“Nigeria is becoming a safe haven for bandits and terrorists, a country with so much oil and gas resources but imports fuel, four moribund and dead refineries that gulped billions of Dollars in turn-around maintenance, which is a conduit pipe for stealing public funds by every new government,” he said.

Tinubu Orders Review Of N8,000 Cash Transfer

In response to widespread public criticism and concern, President Bola Tinubu’s administration has announced a revision of the N8,000 cash transfer programme intended to provide relief to vulnerable households affected by the recent removal of petrol subsidy.

Presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, in a statement yesterday, said the president’s commitment to dialogue with Nigerians and prioritize their welfare and security under the Renewed Hope Agenda had prompted this swift action.

Following the decision to halt the fuel subsidy, the federal government had proposed to implement a conditional cash transfer initiative, which would have granted N8,000 monthly for six months to 12 million households among the poorest of the poor.

However, the plan was met with a barrage of criticisms, with many expressing concerns and doubts about the programme’s effectiveness.

According to Alake, recognising the importance of addressing public sentiment and fostering inclusivity in policy-making, President Tinubu had instructed an immediate review of the cash transfer programme.

The president emphasized that the cash transfer programme was just one part of a broader range of relief measures designed to ease the burden on Nigerians resulting from the subsidy removal.

Alake said,  “While it should be noted that the cash programme is not the only item in the whole gamut of the relief packages of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As a listening leader who has vowed to always put Nigerians at the heart of his policy and programme, the president has directed as follows: That the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programmed envisaged to bring succour to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately. This is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it; that the whole gamut of palliative packages of government be unveiled to Nigerians. Immediate release of fertilisers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively in all the 36 states and the FCT.


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