A seeming unkind fuel price hike by the Buhari administration at a time the negative economic effect of the EndSARS hurricane is yet to die down, is fueling another national outrage in the unnecessarily troubled Nigeria.
Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is already appealing to the Federal Government to stay action on the implementation of the new ex-depot price just as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the N170 fuel price is ‘’wicked, and unbearable’’.
PDP is rejecting the fuel price increase by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it is unacceptable, particularly given the prevailing excruciating economic crunch already foisted on Nigerians by the administration.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement insists that this increase in the pump price will worsen the already suffocating economic situation in the country.
‘’Such hike will also be an additional log tied on the economic neck of Nigerians’’, PDP said. The opposition holds that APC and its administration have no justification to increase the cost of fuel to anything above N100 per litre talk less of N170, when there are practical options to maintain affordable price given our production capacity and potentialities.
According to the party, ‘’it is evident that the continuous increase in the pump price of fuel under opaque and nebulous indices is a product of incompetence and large scale corruption being perpetrated by a few individuals in the Buhari administration, who are bent on fleecing Nigerians and holding our nation to ransom.
‘’Our party notes that the APC administration has failed to come clean on the parameters being used for the hike in prices vis-a-vis our production, export and accruing revenue. Indeed, the APC administration is not being honest with Nigerians regarding the status and volume of oil production, sales and accruing revenue.
‘’This is in addition to its failure to fix our refineries and end crude oil theft, allegedly to aid APC interests. This appears to provide answers to why the APC administration has failed to offer any explanation on huge fraud going on in the management of our nation’s oil resources including the alleged stealing over N9.6 trillion ($25 billion) by APC interests, as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo.
‘’It has also failed to publish details of its sleazy oil subsidy regime, including the involvement of APC interests in the claimed under-recovery for unnamed West African countries, running into trillions of naira, while Nigerians are made to bear the burden of high fuel costs.
‘’Such humongous fraud in the management of our oil resources is responsible for the high costs and unspeakable hardship being suffered by millions of Nigerians who can barely afford their meals and basic necessities of life.
‘’Our party urges President Buhari to end the corruption and the stealing of our oil resource under his watch by APC leaders, recover the looted resources and immediately reverse this increase in price of fuel.
‘’President Buhari should also take steps to fulfil his promise to revamp our refineries or accept his failures and apologize to Nigerians. It is still not yet late for him to get more competent hands to run our oil sector instead of imposing more hardship on Nigerians.’’
IPMAN is describing the increase without any consideration for the current economic and political situation of the country as uncalled for.
The Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in an internal memo dated November 11, jerked up the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, to N155.17 per litre from N147.67 per litre.
According to the internal memo that was signed by Tijjani Ali, PPMC said the new ex-depot price took effect from Friday.
The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the PPMC to marketers at the depots.
In its PMS price proposal for November, the PPMC put the landing cost of petrol at N128.89 per litre, up from N119.77 per litre in September/October. It said the estimated minimum pump price of the product would increase to N161.36 per litre from N153.86 per litre.
The National Operation Controller, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi said the implication of the increase in the ex-depot price is that there is going to be an increase in the pump price. ‘’We are expecting the pump price to range from N168 to N170 per litre. Crude oil price is going up”, he said.
Following the deregulation of petrol prices in September, marketers across the country adjusted their pump prices to between N158 and N162 per litre to reflect the increase in global oil prices.
Petrol price band had also risen from N121.50–N123.50 per litre in June to N140.80-N143.80 in July and N148-N150 in August.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said in September that the Buhari administration had stepped back in fixing the price of petrol, adding that market forces and crude oil price would continue to determine the cost of the product.
In a statement on Friday by the South-West Zonal Chairman of IPMAN, Dele Tajudeen said the plea became necessary so as not to incur the wrath of Nigerians who are going through economic hardship.
It appealed to the Federal Government to stay action on the implementation of the new ex-depot price announced by the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to IPMAN, the increase is exclusive of marketers margin, transportation, loading expenses, saying, that government is insensitive to the plight of the marketers and the masses.
“We are therefore pleading with the Federal Government to shelve the planned increase until further notice, to give room for consideration and adjustment.
“Without any consideration to the stakeholder’s plights, the federal government announced the new price regime which NNPC management said it would be effective from today, Friday, 13th 2020”, Tajudeen said.
He disclosed that IPMAN will hold an emergency meeting with other stakeholders to trash out “this unbecoming and the arbitrary increase” in the ex-depot prices