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Former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has alleged plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to increase the pump price of petrol from N145 to N185 per litre in March next year.
Fayose cautioned against executing the plan, saying Nigerians had suffered enough in the hands of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government and would not accept any further increase in the price of the product.
The former governor, who described the planned increment as a way of taking back whatever is added to workers salary as minimum wage, said: “They are delaying the increment till March because of its effects on the February 2019 elections.”
In a statement yesterday, Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, said that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) presentation to the Senate last week that N145 fuel pump price was unrealistic and that the pump price of petrol was supposed to be N185 per litre as against the official price of N145 per litre was a way to prepare the minds of Nigerians for the planned increment.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, had told the Senate ad-hoc committee set up to investigate allegation that the corporation created a fund to finance fuel subsidy without appropriation by the National Assembly, that the NNPC set aside $1.05 billion to augment the differential between the landing cost of imported fuel and the pump price of N145 per litre.He said the landing cost of petrol was N185 per litre, adding that the N40 gap was being filled with the $1.05 billion Support Fund.
In his reaction, Fayose, who said the NNPC must explain to Nigerians where it derived powers to spend $1.05 billion (over N350 billion) from crude oil sales to subsidise petrol, argued that it was unjustifiable for any agency of the Federal Government to spend revenue belonging to the entire country without first remitting the fund into the federation account.
According to him, it is uncharitable for anyone to draw comparison between the pump price of petrol in West African countries and that of Nigeria without considering the cost of living in those countries, and whether or not they are oil producing like Nigeria.
“Smuggling is an outdated excuse for increasing petrol pump price; it will no longer be accepted by Nigerians.“Nigerians are suffering. Millions of jobs have been lost and even many of those still employed are not gainfully employed. The Federal Government must not add to the burden of the suffering masses by increasing the pump price of petrol as being planned, “ he said.
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