Fuel price reduction not enough — NLC

NLC President, abdulwaheed Omar

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Monday said the recent reduction in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, from N97 to N87 per litre, although a welcome development, is not low enough.

A statement by the Secretary General, NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, said the N10 price slash in fuel pump price translates to 10.3 per cent reduction compared to 33% price reduction in most countries.

The NLC said it is important for the regulatory agencies in the downstream sector to protect Nigerians from exploitations.

“Given the realities of the international oil market today, there is no reason for maintaining the price of diesel at N160 per litre,” he said.

Mr. Ozo-Eson said the Nigerian government had substantially devalued the Naira prior to the price reduction. This he said ensures that the full benefits of falling crude price are not passed on to Nigerians.

He called on the government to effect a price reduction through a sustained drop of the crude oil price in the international market, so that citizens could benefit from the reduction.

While commending the federal government, Mr. Ozo-Eson said the congress had expected a reduction that will operate within the institutional framework of Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA. He said it is unfortunate that PPPRA have been side-lined for long demanding its board be constituted immediately to enable it discharge its statutory functions.

“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,” Mr. Ozo-Eson said.

Mr. Ozo-Eson also pleaded with transporters and transport operators to ensure the benefits of the price reduction get to commuters.

The petrol pump price reduction was announced on Sunday by Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

Ms. Madueke also directed the Department of Petroleum Resources and other petroleum agencies to ensure adequate implementation and compliance.

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