Nigerians lament increase of petrol price from N148 to N151.56k per litre

*Consumers say new pump price will result in hikes in food prices, transportation and housing costs among others amid COVID-19 pandemic

*Federal Government has betrayed trust of Nigerians to protect them ─NLC President Ayuba Wabba

*Minority Caucus in House of Representatives rejects increase in pump price of fuel, says Hon. Ndidu Elumelu

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Groundswells of reactions have continued to trail the latest announcement of an increase in petrol price, as cross-sections of Nigerian consumers have reacted to the Nigerian Government’s fuel price increase from recent N148 to N151.56 per litre.

ConsumerConnect reports the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Wednesday, September 2, 2020, announced the increment in the pump price of petrol, otherwise known as the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Though the new price was slated to take immediate effect from Wednesday, the announcement has stirred diverse reactions from consumers, especially on social media platforms, accusing the President Muhammdu Buhari-led administration of inflicting hardship on citizens.

Some Twitter account holders said the new pump price would result in hikes in prices of food items, transportation costs and housing among others, all which they described as unfair to Nigerians.

“This next level is really shaping up to something else! Taxes are being raised across the board, levies and petrol pump prices are going higher and income levels of Nigerians have dwindled! Nigeria’s socialism is fast destroying her,” Daily Post reports a consumer among several others as saying in a tweet.

Another Nigerian consumer @OlubunmiMayaki said: “The Buhari administration is so insensitive to the plight of Nigerians that it has increased taxes, petrol pump price, electricity tariff, stamp duty, etc., at a time of global pandemic. Unbelievable!”

“Why did petrol price go up? Nigerians citizens are already suffering; everything will go up again in the market, supermarkets, shame on the APC Government,” another reacted in a tweet @Collins.

Likewise, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has lampooned the Federal Government for the recent increment in petrol price.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of NLC, in a statement said the 151 per litre increment was an indication that the government was taking Nigerians for granted.

Wabba stated that the Organised Labour could not guarantee industrial harmony in in the country.

The Federal Government has betrayed the trust of Nigerians to protect them, said Wabba.

The NLC President stated: “In fact, Nigerians and even NLC are in a shock; and this increase is coming at a time when many Nigerians are passing through very peculiar and precarious times.

“It’s like Nigerians are being taken for a ride; the increase in price of petroleum is like adding salt to injury.

“The increase in price of petroleum has happened now more than three times in three months.

“And to compound it, they also reduced the interest rate of savings, which affects mostly the poor and the vulnerable.

He said, “while rejecting this with the strongest terms, I think the Nigerian Government is taking Nigerians for granted.”

According to the Labour leader, Nigerians are becoming poorer and poorer.

“In fact, many people are already on the edge. Many workers are already on the edge.

“Certainly, we cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony, and we will have to call our organs and we will have to also react but we reject it in its entirety.

They have betrayed the trust of Nigerians, for Nigerians to be protected against the economic challenge that is affecting us.”

In the same vein, the Minority Caucus in the country’s House of Representatives also promptly rejected the increase in the pump price of petrol from N148 to N151.56.

Hon. Ndidu Elumelu, House Minority Leader, disclosed the position of the Federal lawmakers in a statement Wednesday.

The Lower Chamber of the National Assembly (NASS), which described the new price as unacceptable, said the hike would result in an increase in the already high cost of consumer goods and services besides worsening the current economic hardship being suffered by Nigerians.

The legislators stated: “The minority caucus in the House of Representatives rejects the announced increase in the pump price of fuel.

“This is because such increase will directly result in more hardship on our citizens, particularly at this critical time when a majority of Nigerians across the country are struggling to survive under the burden of the high cost of living and low purchasing power occasioned by the prevailing economic challenges.

“Any increase in the cost of an essential commodity like fuel will, therefore, bring more hardship to the people and as such should not be contemplated.”

It is important for the government to revamp the nation’s refineries, instead of resorting to fuel price increase at the detriment of Nigerians, said the lawmakers.

Elumelu, in the statement, therefore, directed the PPMC to immediately rescind the purported announcement and revert to the former price, with a view to further reviewing it downward.

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