OBINNA EZUGWU

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has described as wicked and unbearable, the recent hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol to N170 per litre.

The party in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan on Friday, called on Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari to stop his inhuman acts against Nigerians.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejects an increase in the pump price of fuel to N170 per liter by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government, describing it as wicked, unbearable and unacceptable, particularly given the prevailing excruciating economic crunch already foisted on Nigerians by the Buhari administration,” the statement said. 

“The party 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.

“The PDP holds that the APC and its administration have no justification to increase the cost of fuel to anything above N100 per liter talk less of N170, when there are practical options to maintain affordable price given our production capacity and potentialities.

“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 fulfill 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.

The Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, had on Thursday, increased the ex-depot price of petrol to N155.17 per litre from N147.67 per litre.

The PPMC disclosed this in an internal memo with reference number PPMC/C/MK/003, dated November 11, 2020, and signed by Tijjani Ali. The memo said the new ex-depot price would take 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, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, said the over N7 increase in ex-depot price would translate into an increase in pump prices.

“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,” he said. “Crude oil price is going up,” he said, noting that the Federal Government has fully deregulated petrol prices.

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.