The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the federal government for the reduction in the pomp price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N97 to N87 per litre as the congress said it is a welcome development. However said the estimation is not “sufficiently deep enough.”
According to a statement signed by the Secretary General of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, government had substantially devalued the Naira prior to the price reduction, thus ensuring that the full benefits of falling crude price are not passed on to Nigerians.
The statement said N10 price slash translates to 10.3 per cent reduction compared to 33% price reduction in most countries. “For instance, in the United States the price dipped to under two dollars from three dollars per gallon.”
Congress however maintained that it had imagined the price reduction that will operate within the institutional framework of PPPRA (Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency). “The logic of our reasoning is hinged on the premise that only the PPPRA is charged with the statutory responsibility of determining petroleum product prices based on a relatively acceptable template.
“Accordingly, it is the PPPRA (on whose board we have NLC, TUC, NUPENG, PENGASSAN, NURTW) relying on the existing price template that could arrive at a fair and just price reduction. In order words, the reduction by the government, as welcome as it is, is by fiat.”
NLC however called for resuscitation of PPPRA Board as it had been sidelined for so long. “We demand that its board be constituted immediately to enable it discharge its statutory functions.”
Aside from reduction of PMS, the congress maintained that regulatory agencies in the downstream sector of the oil industry need to protect Nigerians against monopolistic exploitation. “Given the realities of the international oil market today, there is no reason for maintaining the price of diesel at N160 per litre,” the statement said.
It finally appealed to transporters and transport operators to ensure that the benefits of the change in price get to commuters.
Also commenting, Bobboi Kaigama, the President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), called for a second downward review of the fuel pump price, to enable Nigerian workers to enjoy succour from the present economic situation.