Following another increase in pump price of petrol last week by Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have described the development as insensitive on the part of the Federal Government.
The group said the action was another confirmation that the Federal Government was deliberately encouraging exploitation of hapless citizens. The price of petrol was increased from N155.17 per litre to N170 per litre to the surprise of Nigerians.
The OPS, which consist of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), stated that the continued increment would sooner than later pose brutal risk to the country’s fragile economy, especially the common man.
The group also pointed out that the frequent hike in ex-depot price by government was posing a bigger risk to the survival of small and large businesses operating in the country since they had failed to apply consumer protection mechanisms to checkmate consumer exploitation by industry operators.
Reacting to the hike, Director- General of LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, explained that the frequent increase was going to polarise and worsen inflation with the fate of common man remaining in the balance amid low purchasing power.
On his part, the Acting Director-General of MAN, Paul Oruche, in an interview with New Telegraph, explained that the new pump price was already placing a burden on production, saying that it was expected to double energy cost for manufacturers. He stated that the hike would be inimical for Nigerian businesses and also lead to further inflation as businesses battle rising cost of running business with regard to raw materials for production.