A cross-section of Nigerians on Friday lashed out at the Muhammadu Buhari administration over a further increase in the price of petrol.
The Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had on Friday announced that the retail pump price of petrol would now be N172.17 per litre.
It cited an increase in the ex-depot price of petrol from N151.56 in September to N155.17 in November for the increase in the pump price of the commodity. The agency conveyed the new development in a memo dated 11 November, 2020 and signed by Ali Tijani.
The new price took effect from Friday, 13 November, 2020, according to the memo. Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo described the increase as a wicked act from the government, while a branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said the Buhari government was being “heartless.”
The secretary of a unit of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), reacted by declaring that the increment would lead to a hike in transport fares which would also cause an increase in prices of foodstuffs.
Senator Shehu Sani, in his own reaction, said on Twitter that “petrol price is catching up with the number of Nigeria’s ethnic groups.”
There are more than 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria. A Nigerian, Adams Wadas (@Adamsy_wadas), said, also on Twitter: “My Nigeria, the last time the price was increased to N168/litre, crude oil/barrel was $45 and now the price of crude oil is less than $40, they increased the price of petrol again.”
It is wicked —Ohanaeze
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu, described the increment as inhuman and wicked. Ibegbu queried the rationale for fuel price increase when Nigeria is an oil-producing country. In an interview with Saturday Tribune Ibegbu said: “The hike in the price of petroleum products will further cause untold hardship for the masses who at the moment are living below the poverty level.
“I am yet to understand the delay in resuscitating the nation’s refineries. Perhaps they are interested in acquiring oil blocks instead of making the products available to the masses.
“We at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemn the fuel price increase in its entirety. It is unacceptable to us and the Ndigbo. Nigerians should resist the increment. I don’t know why our rulers are interested in making life difficult for the people.”
Buhari’s market forces crooked —Afenifere
Afenifere said it could not see anything to justify the latest increment in the international oil market. The group’s spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, in a telephone interview with Saturday Tribune, said nothing could justify the punishment being meted out to Nigerians through the latest fuel price hike.
“Well, it’s Abuja and President Buhari’s NNPC market forces that have played the crooked one again because we don’t know what has happened in the international oil market to warrant this latest increment and the punishment they are inflicting on Nigerians,” he said.
Odumakin noted that the citizens were just coming out of the pains of the EndSARS protest which was hijacked by hoodlums and resulted in killings and destructions and were still battling with the coronavirus pandemic.
He said with the increment, Buhari’s government seemed to be a worse affliction on Nigerians than COVID-19. The Afenifere chieftain recalled that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had during the 2014 campaigns promised to repair all the country’s refineries and produce fuel locally but had been unable to fulfil the promise as the country continues to import fuel five years after.