“They get petrol free of charge though tax payers’ money and turned back to propose N385/litre price increase for the same tax payers. The proposed fuel prices is provocative and any increment will deepen insecurity.”
A Niger Delta Civil Society Group has condemned the Nigeria Governors Forum proposed increment of petrol pump price to N385, saying that it is capable of heightening the level of insecurity, youth restiveness and a total colllapse of the system.
The group made this known in a press statement made available to Platforms Africa by its president Dr. Douglas Fabeke.
Dr. Fabeke who said that the group has support from other civil society groups said; “They (governors) get petrol free of charge though tax payers’ money and turned back to propose N385/litre price increase for the same tax payers. The proposed fuel prices is provocative and any increment will deepen insecurity.”
According to Fabeke who read the statement at a press conference in Abuja, the proposal by the NGF is coming at a time when Nigeria is yet to recover from the disturbing effects of COVID-19 and is therefore, an act of laziness and self centeredness.
He said, “As you are already aware, there are desperate attempts by the Nigerian Governors Forum to pressurise the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase the official pump price of petrol from N 162 to N 385 per litre.
“Recall that on the 19th day of May, 2021, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) held a virtual meeting and adopted the recommendations of the report of a six-man committee headed by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, recommending among other things that the pump price of petrol should be increased from N162 to N385 per litre.
“Recall also that the referenced report and recommendations contained therein was presented to the National Economic Council headed by the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at its meeting held on the 20th day of May, 2021.
“The Ogoni Liberation Initiative and other Civil Society Organisations describe this desperate attempt by the NGF as callous, inhumane, and a betrayal of the public trust repose on them by the electorates and vow to utilise every legal means possible to resist and revolt any attempt by government to further deepen the suffering of Nigerians by increasing the pump price of petrol as this will bring an unbearable hardship to all Nigerian, and further push the Nation to a total break collapse of the system.
“It is unfortunate that the Nigerian governors are making this call at this moment when Nigerians are yet to recover from the ravaging effect of COVID-19. It is sad that last year, economic activities all over the country were shut down and many businesses closed down as a result of the lock-down order of the national and state governments to curb the wide spread of corona virus pandemic, leading to lot of losses, the disengagement of workers by corporate organisations and businesses and many are yet to recover from the losses, while some of the disengaged workers are yet to find employment replacement to earn a living.
“The rising challenging security situation in the country has further aggravated the pains of Nigerians as most businesses that thrive in the night such as transport companies, hotels, bars, night clubs and other recreational centres are shut down as a result of the curfew order imposed by state governors in their respective states to curb the security challenges and the gruesome killings of our security officers by armed bandits.
“At this time when children and our youths are dying on the streets as a result of hunger, businesses are closing down, foreign direct investments have come to a screeching halt and high rate of unemployment in the country, rather than the state governors to complement the efforts of the Federal Government by diversifying the economy, creating employment and improving their internally generated revenue through other sources other than oil and gas, they are attempting to introduce policies that will further impoverish Nigerians.
The problem is that most of our governors are self-centred, lazy and visionless.”
Dr Fabeke expressed displeasure at the actions of the governors and called on the federal government and the NNPC to focus on revamping already existing refineries and encourage private investors to invest more in modular refineries.
He said, “We are disappointed at the action and attitude of the governors in taking such a decision that will have adverse effect on Nigerians.
“We condemn this move as insensitive and call on the federal government of Nigeria, NEC, and the NNPC to disregard this anti-people proposal of the NGF as its acceptance will further heat up the country.
“The government should rather make the refineries in Nigeria to work perfectly and also give an opportunities for private investors to invest more in modular refineries in order to boost local production and supply, create employment and increase the revenue of the country.
“At this present time that Nigeria is facing challenges of insecurity, we need leaders of vision and creativity who will drive the Nation beyond all obstacle for a better Nigeria.”