By Audrey Lotechukwu
THUR, JULY 02 2020-theG&BJournal- Nigerians were left in hysterics Wednesday after the Federal Government announced suddenly a change of plans in petrol price.
The Federal Government announced a new petrol price regime when most motorists were getting used to what they called ‘’affordable petrol’’, shifting the product price upwards to N143 per litre and signalling the end of a ‘’short lived deregulation’’ of the product.
SERAP took up the matter immediately urging the president, Muhammadu Buhari to ‘’immediately reverse’’ the proposed upward review of the retail price from N121.50 to between N140.80 and N143.80 per litre.
‘’Increasing fuel in the middle of COVID-19 is unfair, illegal and a grave violation of human rights,’’ the non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group warned, while calling on the National Assembly leadership to ‘’move swiftly to stop this travesty, and side with country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.’’
‘’Oil shouldn’t be a curse for Nigerians, being endowed with natural resources ought to be a synonym for opportunity and development.’’
It is not clear yet the rationale behind the sneaky move in the midst of rising unemployment, rising insecurity and rising inflation. One analyst told theG&BJournal late last night that ‘’Nigeria has totally lost the window of opportunity to fully deregulate the petroleum downstream sector-that opportunity is blown.’’
Petrol independent marketers on the hand had often complained of their margins, claiming it is not profitable to sell petrol as low as N123 per litre.
‘’They may have pressured the government into this reversal despite low global crude oil prices. Don’t forget this politicians own most of the petrol filling stations around the country, they are the products importers, they are the government and of course, inter-state travel have resumed, they will, by hook or by crook, find a reason for the price hike,’’ one furious aviation executive told theG&BJournal.