With the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N172 to N212.61 per litre by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Thursday night, Nigerians have criticized the decision and tagged it as both anti-people and the one that will cause lots of hardship to the citizens and increase the crime rate in the country.
On the 1st of March, 2021, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had assured the nation that there would not be hike in pump price of petroleum products and that Nigerians had hope of buying PMS at less than N100 per litre.
For Ismahil Tiamiyu, the CEO of Insightlinks Media, “the price hike is the highest level of wickedness from the man Nigerians voted. The effect can be better imagined when we look at the fact that the economy of this country rests solely on this product.
“No one can do without transportation. Goods and food products move from one region of this country to another via transportation. Nigerians deserve better from this government.
“The Federal Government should come out plain. Today, the downstream sector of the petroleum industry is deregulated, tomorrow NNPC announces increment in fuel pump price. What exactly is the state of things? It seems this government is confused.”
Bishop Seun Adeoye, a former Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chairman in Osun State said he was not surprised at the announcement.
In his words, “I can promise you that in the next few months, we are going to be paying more than N220. And maybe before the end of the tenure of this administration, we will be paying N500 per litre.
“Before the election that brought in President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term in office, I issued a statement warning that Buhari’s second term will bring double portion of hardship compared to his first term.
“Nigerians should remember that when the pump price was increased to N145, I staged a one-man protest and I wrote in the placard I displayed that, ‘This is chain and not change’. We were then told that there will be no more hike in fuel price. What do we see today?
He maintained that the present crop of leaders have no passion for the masses, adding that even though president Buhari has said it often times that he felt the citizens’ pains but with this development, it is safe to conclude that he was only deceiving and making jest of Nigerians.
He noted that with the increment in fuel pump price, Nigerians should expect the sore effect of this on goods and services.
“What do we have? More suffering and pains and more sudden death. Anyway, we will keep on asking God to change the hearts of our leaders for good.”
Comrade Waheed Saka, the convener of Dialogue 360 stated that the increment is pure political incitement of the citizens against the elites.
He wondered how an administration which just got out of recession through Economic Sustainable Plan (ESP) will immediately give the same citizens ‘Economic Hardship Plan’ (EHP) that the fuel pump price increase represented?
“Go to the market, there is no percentage calculation for increase in goods and consumables any more. It is simply off the average citizen’s reach. This new increase is a total assault on the well-being of our people. It is simply unacceptable. It is government wickedness at best and economic terrorism of the same citizens they are elected to protect. It must not only be challenged, it must also be rejected by all people of good conscience. This is sad.
“The minimum wage of N30,000 which is yet to be paid by many states is now with maximum trouble occasioned with the increase in the pump price of fuel. The citizens of this country deserve better and it is so unfortunate, it is getting worse every day.”
Mr. Sunday Michael Ogwu, a journalist stated that there has not been an official announcement on the price increase yet, noting that at best it was just speculations.
According to him, he had bought a litre of PMS for N165 per litre in Abuja yesterday and also bought at N170 in Owerri this morning.
“Of course, some marketers would have adjusted their pumps in lieu of a possible announcement,” he added.
Mr. Arowoogu stated that he was short of words as to what to say as the citizens have once again found themselves in a mess.
He added that there was nothing anybody could do or say than to accept their fate.
Geff Ekene Aniagu disclosed that it will lead many into crimes, banditry and kidnapping, adding that there will be increase in mental health problems in the country and many who will find it difficult to cope may go into depression and suicide.
A civil servant who preferred anonymity states that the increase in fuel pump price at this time is a ratification of hardship, groans, pains and tears.
He explained that many will be in financial trouble in a short time because the costs of food stuffs will increase.
DAILY POST recalls that on March 1, the NNPC said in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, that contrary to speculations of imminent increase in the price of petrol in the country, there would be no increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March.
“The Corporation was not contemplating any raise in the price of petrol in March in order not to jeopardize ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship.”
In 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated, the pump price of PMS was N87 per litre but since then, the price has since been increased to N145, N147, decreased to N125 and increased back again to N163, N172 and now with the current increase; N212.61 while the minimum wage for the nation’s workforce is still stagnant at N30,000.