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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Just like it did at the beginning of this year when it increased the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) from N65 to N97, the federal government is again planning to give Nigerians a bad New Year gift early in 2013 by increasing the price of the essential commodity.
If recent statements from the presidency and the comments of President Goodluck Jonathan are anything to go by then Nigerians should expect another round of hardship as the administration has concluded plans to increase the price of petrol.
Giving this indication last Thursday, President Jonathan in a statement declared that total fuel subsidy removal is a must and the only way to attract investors to the oil sector. To further sensitise Nigerians on the impending fuel hike during his presidential media chat, yesterday, he explained that something has to be done about subsidy to put an end to the current petrol scarcity being witnessed in the country. Though he assured Nigerians that subsidy would not be removed, he was not forthcoming on whether there would be an increase in the price of petrol or not.
Apart from the president, top sources in the oil industry also confirmed the inevitability of an oil price hike early in 2013. The oil marketers said the government is finding it difficult to pay oil marketers subsidy and blamed the current petrol scarcity on the amount budgeted for susbsidy in this year’s budget which they claimed was not enough. They also disclosed that following the inability of NNPC to pay subsidy to oil marketers, most of them are no longer importing petrol. NNPC, they revealed, is now the sole importer of petroleum products into the country.

We are also aware that since the government made known its intention to increase the price of petrol next year, organised labour and its partners in the civil society coalition have been gearing up to moblilise the populace to resist the increase.
We make haste to alert the government that the people are going through a lot of hardship occasioned by the harsh economic environment in the country.
Rather than increase the price of petrol, we call on the government to look inward and tackle the corruption which had become endemic.
By tackling corruption, the government will be able to generate more money to meet the cost of governance.

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