The federal government of Nigeria has explained the reason it deregulated the downstream oil sector which has led to the hike in fuel price. According to Premium Times, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) informed that the deregulation and the hike in fuel price were inevitable.
Nigerians groaned on Wednesday, May 11, after the announcement of the fuel subsidy removal which means fuel will now sell for N145/litre as against the initial N86.50. This translates to about 67.6 per cent hike from the previous N86.50 but according to Sontonye Iyoyo, the acting executive secretary of PPPRA, the new price is a measure put in place to help marketers overcome difficulties they were facing in fuel importation.
Iyoyo noted that the review of the fuel price became necessary due to difficulties encountered by petroleum products marketers in sourcing for FOREX. She said: “This review became imperative in the face of extreme difficulties faced by petroleum product importers in sourcing foreign exchange.” The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has since reacted to the sudden announcement of fuel price hike, with their leadership reacting venomously to the announcement on Wednesday. A statement issued by the body reads in part:
“The unilateral increase in prices of petroleum products today by government represents the height of insensitivity and impunity and shall be resisted by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its civil society allies. “With the imposition on the citizenry of criminal and unjustifiable electricity tariff and resultant darkness and other economic challenges brought on by the devaluation of the Naira and spiraling inflation, the least one had expected at this point in time was another policy measure that would further make life more miserable for the ordinary Nigerian
“The latest increase is the most audacious and cruel in the history of product price increase as It represents not only about 80 per cent increase but it is tied to the black market exchange rate.”