NLC, TUC: We’ll resist hike
Nigerians reject increment
Marketers: It’s expected
Nigerians are to pay about N22.30 more for a litre of premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in July.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), which yesterday hiked the price band for the product to N143.8 per litre, fixed the lowest point in the price band at N140.80 per litre.
The new peg for July is about N22.30 increase from the last band set for N121.50 in June 2020.
The organised labour has, however, vowed to resist the price increment.
PPPRA, in a circular signed by ITS Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, and dated July 1, advised marketers to sell the product at the price band in the month of July.
Saidu noted that the upward review of the retail price band was necessary, given the market fundamentals in the month of June and the need to put the incurred costs of marketers into consideration.
The memo was titled `Advised price for premium motor spirit (PMS) in the month of July 2020.’
The circular reads: “Please recall the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which petroleum marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail station based on the existing price regime.
“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80 – N243.80/litre, from the month of July, 2020.
“Kindly note that the ex depot for collection includes a statutory charges of Bridging funds, Marine Transport Average, National Transport Allowance (NTA) and the Administrative charge.
“”All marketers are advised to operate within the indicative prices as advised by the PPPRA.”
It would be recalled that the PPPRA had on May 31 reduced petrol pump price to N121.50 per litre.
The downstream regulator said oil marketers were expected to sell petrol within the price range of N121.50 and N123.50.
In June, there was a slight reduction as the price was fixed at N121.50 per litre from N123.50 in May.
Since April, PPPRA had continued to issue a monthly price band of PMS for marketers.
But the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described the upward review of petrol price as an exploitation of the masses.
President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, noted that although Congress was not fully briefed, the hike in petrol price would be resisted.
His words: “We will react officially tomorrow (today) because I have not heard of it until now.
“It is the type of exploitation we have mentioned that it will not end until and when we are able to refine product.
“We have said it several times and therefore we reject all of these and I think at this point in time, instead of giving to the people, you are exploiting the people from all angles.”
On his part, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Quadri Olaleye, noted that Congress would reach out to PPRA to get more details on the hike in petrol pump price before making its position known.
Also, Nigerians have rejected N22.30 per litre hike in the price of petrol, declaring that the timing was wrong.
Many Nigerians who thronged the social media to carpet government for being insensitive to the plight of the people, called on the labour union to come to their rescue.
A petroleum economist, Adebayo Alamutu, told New Telegraph that the new price would worsen suffering for many who have been battling abject poverty due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
“The timing is just not right. Why do you expect people who have lost means of livelihood or those who have been suffering from very poor purchasing power due to this lockdown to now pay more for fuel?
“There should be a limit to heartlessness. This is just too much a pain to bear,” Alamutu said.
His view was corroborated by Olasumbo Abolade, a trader, who stated that this new price would lead to hike in transport fares, which are already unbearable.
“Just observe the filing stations. Those of them that refused to sell at N121.50 per litre price in June will be quick to adjust their pump to N143.80 per litre. Where is the labour union? Who will come to our rescue now?” she asked.
Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said that the new price band of PMS is not unexpected.
IPMAN’s President, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the increment from the price band of N121.50 to N123.50 per litre was determined by market forces.
“What is happening is not unexpected because the Federal Government is no longer paying subsidy on petrol, so the prices will change from time to time depending on what is happening in the international market.
“This will continue to happen until we are able to increase our domestic refining capacity, which will make fuel cheaper in Nigeria,” he said.