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Published On: Mon, Dec 8th, 2014

Oil Price slump: CSO ask FG to reduce fuel pump price

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Fuel PumpFrom Akilani Abdullah, Lagos

The United action for Democracy has urged the federal government that the continuous maintaining of the present fuel price in Nigeria is injustice and uncalled for, calling for immediate reduction in pump price .

This was contained in a press statement released to newsmen yesterday by its National Convenor, Mr. Baba Aye in Lagos.

The group call on the Federal Government to thread the path of honour and effect an immediate commensurate reduction in the prices of petroleum products, through the Petroleum Products Prices Regulation Agency (PPPRA).

The statement reads: “With the current nose diving of oil prices in the international market, the Federal Government should dance to the tune of its own deregulation music. There has been a secular decline in the pump prices of fuel in the Western countries which serve as model for the Nigerian government.

“The Federal Government has been a faithful mass server at the altar of market forces. Fuel prices were increased in 2012 because of the soaring prices of oil in the international market. Nigerians were then supposed to bear the burden of the logic of demand and supply. Across the length and breadth of the country, working people and youth revolted, and we were not defeated. But even at that the government got away with an effective 50% increment in fuel pump price, with petrol now going for N97 as against N65, before January 1, 2012.

“There is a similar trend in Africa also. For example, the Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) in Kenya has announced an 11.7% reduction in petrol price, occasioned by the decline in oil price globally. Similarly in Tanzania which is not an oil producing country as well, the prices of petrol and diesel have been reduced by 6.8% and 5.6%, respectively. Announcing this, the country’s Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) pointed out that “this notable drop in retail and wholesale local prices has been caused by a continued trend of falling world oil market prices”.

“Maintaining the present fuel price regime in Nigeria, despite the fall in prices globally, is injustice of the highest order, even going by the market forces mantra of the Federal Government. Injustice anywhere in a threat to justice everywhere, we thus call on all well-meaning persons and organisation to insist on a price reduction now.

It said further: “It is also apt to point out that overreliance on oil for national revenue (which hardly benefits the poor working people) has brought the country’s economy to the crossroads. Despite perennial rhetoric and an “industrial revolution” plan, the ruling elite in Nigeria feel much more comfortable with the easy to pick wealth from oil and related corrupt practices, than to invest in manufacture, the backbone of industrialisation.” It noted.

Furthermore, the group noted that the working masses will not bear the burden of the global systemic crisis which is worsened in Nigeria by the cluelessness of the ruling class saying the masses will resist austerity measures in any guise.

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