Uncertainty in fuel price: Buhari has lost control, says HURIWA

Posted by News Express | 12 March 2021 | 341 times

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned what it described as “the ever pervasive and persistent climate of apprehension, anxiety and uncertainty on the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) which triggered massive scale of poverty, economic down turn and oppression of the downtrodden.”

The rights group stated that it was inconceivable that the petroleum sector that the President himself supervises as the senior Minister cannot provide clarity and certainty regarding the stability and affordability of petrol which remains critical to the economic survival of the masses and corporate entities.

HURIWA said it is regrettable too that at a time most countries are introducing innovative replacements for petrol and diesel so as to protect the environment and the biodiversity, Nigeria still operates with the mindset of the 18th century because of the gross incompetence of the political class that have hijacked Nigeria.

It expresses disappointment that two agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources which is headed by President Buhari namely; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum pricing Regulatory    Agency (PPPRA) are at each other’s throats over the exact pump price of petrol just as major dealers of the product have now become like shylock and lawless entrepreneurs who decide when to sell or when to hoard the product just so they can maximise profits at the detriment of the over 100 million absolutely poor Nigerians.

HURIWA recalled that NNPC had insisted that petrol depot price will remain unchanged in March.

HURIWA recalled that this is coming as a reaction to the PPPRA fixing the pump price of PMS at N212.61 per litre, for the month of March on Thursday.

HURIWA recalled that the PPPRA confirmed that fuel subsidy actually officially returned in February 2021, as, according to the downstream oil sector regulator, the actual pump price of PMS for February was between N183.74 and N186.74 per litre, meaning that the Federal Government paid an average of N16 per litre for PMS in the month.

But in a media statement issued by HURIWA and signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, the rights group said the uncertainty in the price of petroleum products and the incessant hike in the pump price means that the central government lacks quality body of economic policy framers/advisers, stating that the crisis characterizing the distribution and pricing of petrol means that those in charge of the sector are “absolutely incompetent, selfish, petty, greedy, corrupt and are bent on destabilizing the already fragile economy of the world’s largest black nation.”

HURIWA warned that the massive scale of poverty, unemployment and hunger afflicting over 100 million Nigerians who are too poor to feed on three meals per day could culminate in a mass action whose end may be catastrophic.

It appealed to government to be considerate, sensitive, responsible and rational in decision making and implementation because the constant increment in the costs of goods and services without the commensurate improvements in the purchasing power of the National currency vis-a-vis the Inter National currencies in a massively non-productive nation like Nigeria would mean only one thing- absolute misery for the already impoverished population. 

Besides, the rights group said the perpetual uncertainty and hoarding of petrol by the marketers in collusion with government officials is directly at variance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with specific reference to section 16.

HURIWA therefore asked Nigerians to be vigilant and to always take mass action to pass a message of rejection of oppressive and suppressive tendencies amongst officials of government since according to it, it is only active citizens that can serve as safeguards against tyranny, oppression and the total economic annihilation of the masses which the incoherent and inconsistent pricing policy in the critical sectors of the economy represents.

 


Source: News Express

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