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Nigerians React To The Hike in Fuel Price

Wisdom Nwachukwu



The Federal Government, on Wednesday 3rd September, announced the immediate increase in the pump price of petrol to N151.56 per litre from N149, being the third increase in three months. Nigerians React To The Hike in Fuel Price.

A statement by the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), informed oil depots owners of the hike.

“Please be informed that a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform.

“To this end, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is now N151.56 kobo per litre.”

When contacted, the president of Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okoronkwo, said they may get the directive at the depots on Thursday.

However, our correspondent found that the product prices have been adjusted already at many filling stations in Lagos with some along the Mile 2-Badagry expressway selling for N151/litre.

Chairman of the Kano branch of IPMAN, Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, said the association was meeting to decide a retail price tag.

– Nigerians express pains –

Nigerians, comprising transporters, entrepreneurs, workers and the unemployed, have expressed shock over the fuel price increase.

In Lagos, Ojo Gabriel, a transporter said: “I don’t think it is a good idea because people are suffering, there is no job.

“It would further inconvenience the people.

“Government should not bring the idea.”

Ikechukwu Ebekwe said the fuel price hike was coming a day after the electricity hike; coinciding with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cutting interest rate from 3.75% to 1.25%.

“Meanwhile, we are enduring a food inflation of over 15%.”

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Maryam Abdallah, a consumer in Abuja, said fuel price hike will only make life miserable for the masses.

A cross section of motorists and transporters who spoke to our correspondent around the Utako and Jabi motor parks in Abuja, said the government’s action was insensitive.

“We are just trying to come out of COVID-19 lockdown.

“We haven’t even fully come out of it, and only what the government can do is to increase fuel price, Okay Michael, one of the transporters said.

Drivers charge N10,500 from Abuja to Lagos rising from N7,500 before the COVID-19.

“With the new fuel price, it may rise to N12,000.”

In Kaduna, the residents are fuming over the increase.

While some blame the government, others are worried about the expected increase in the prices of goods and services.

Ben Onoja, who owns a laundry outlet in Kaduna said, “We have not finished digesting the news of increase in electricity tariff, only for me to hear that the price of fuel has also increased.”

Tanimu Moshood, a commercial taxi driver expressed dismay over the increase.

“Even with the N148 per litre, we were finding it difficult to make ends meet not to talk about N151 again and I heard the independent marketers are going to sell at N62 and up to N200.”

It was observed that the filling stations still sell at N148 in Kaduna metropolis.

This was also the same thing in Kano state.

Kano state chapter chairman of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Salisu Balarabe, said the association was waiting for the IPMAN’s decision to take a stand.

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The National Vice President, North Central, National Association of Small and Enterprises (NASME), Eng. Auwal Ibrahim Bununu, said: “The increase will negatively affect MSMEs because those into manufacturing of goods will find it difficult to increase any price now because of COVID-19.”

Another entrepreneur and CEO Vivido Natural, Ruqayyatu Hussaini, a spice seller said: “I get the raw materials from states and Chad.

“So ,the increase in fuel price will lead to increase in transportation.”

Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, Remi Ogungbemi, said: “As a transporter, it would impact negatively on the operational cost of haulage.

“Truck owners would definitely shift the overhead on to the end-users.”

The National President of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tony Nwabunike, said: “Yes, we know that the Government is looking for money to fund the budget but it should do so by increasing the price of luxurious goods and not items which are used by all.”

The Acting Director General of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Ambrose Oruche said the hike was expected because the petroleum industry was now fully deregulated, and price will keep fluctuating.

“So small businesses will be impacted negatively by the increment.”

To reduce the impact on businesses, Oruche appealed to the government to do more in ensuring that power generation and distribution is efficient to cut dependence on power generators.

An economist, Chijioke Okechukwu, said the latest hike in petrol price to N151 may likely lead to marginal inflation in the economy.

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Okechukwu, who was a former Director General of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), said the hike in price will lead to further increase in prices of goods and services in the economy.

The expert said the price increment is connected to the pronouncement of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed that Nigeria had discontinued the payment of subsidy on petroleum products.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the increase in fuel pump price by the federal government.

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said: “While rejecting this with the strongest terms, I think Nigerian government is taking Nigerians for granted.”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also rejected the fresh increase in the price of fuel to N151 per litre and electricity tariff to N66 per kilowatts (kwh) under the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government.

The opposition party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, demanded an immediate reversal of the prices to avert a national crisis.

However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a response to PDP, said it was successive PDP governments that foisted on Nigeria a corruption-tainted fuel subsidy regime.

It said under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, there is no fuel queue and product scarcity.

APC in the statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, also noted that the reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system with constant fuel availability.


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Insecurity: Reps Ask Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency

Wisdom Nwachukwu



WORRIED by the worsening security situation in the country, the House of Representatives on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a state of emergency on insecurity to effectively curb the ugly development.

The Speaker, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this while reading the resolutions approved after a fourhour executive session held on the floor of the Green Chamber, during which lawmakers condemned attacks on security agents and formations across the country.

To this end, the House resolved to invite the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Mongunu; the service chiefs and other heads of various paramilitary agencies to appear before it and brief the members on the security situation in the country.

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The House also mandated all its security committees to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms in the Armed Services and revert back to the House within four weeks.

Gbajabiamila, who read the resolution, said: “The House reiterates its commitment to the security and corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would, therefore, accelerate its engagement with stakeholders on a special security summit to be organised by the House of Representatives.

“The House should urgently invite the NSA, service chiefs, and paramilitary chiefs, Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT to brief the House on the security situation in the country.

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“Considering the security situation, the President should immediately declare a state of emergency on insecurity so as to fast track all measures to ensure the restoration of peace in the country.

“Call on the judiciary to accelerate the prosecution of those awaiting trial due to banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.

“Provide emergency relief to all communities that have been adversely affected by recent attacks across the country.

“The President should as a matter of urgency, ensure financial autonomy to Local Government Councils to guarantee their functionality to serve the local populace.

“The Federal Government should ensure the protection of National Infrastructure assets, particularly the  Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State. 

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“The House mandated all its Security Committees to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms in our Armed Services and revert back to the House within four weeks.

“That the number of personnel in the Police and Military falls far short of the required number to effectively secure the country and calls for immediate recruitment to this effect,” the resolution read.

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Buhari Is Helping Fulanis Take Over, There Is No Govt in Nigeria – Governor Ortom

Wisdom Nwachukwu



Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of working for Fulanis. He said the country has no government following incessant killings by bandits and Fulani herdsmen in his state.

He lamented that over 70 people have been murdered in two weeks in Makurdi Local Government Area. Ortom spoke to protesters on Tuesday at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abagena village. Suspected herdsmen, Monday night, killed citizens and wounded many others. “What is happening now, to me, is very clear; Mr President is just working for these Fulanis to take over the whole country.”

He said Buhari’s body language is what is being played out and that the action and inaction of Mr President “shows that he is only the President of Fulani people”. Ortom decried that attackers regularly send indigenes away from their homes, yet go to kill them where they take refuge.

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Ortom called them “Fulani herdsmen”, stressing that They are not bandits. They are Fulanis. We saw and heard them speak the language.” The Benue helmsman stated that the federal authorities have been dragging foot on the matter.

“If the federal government had taken a proactive step, we will not be where we are. In the last two weeks, over 70 persons have been killed just in Makurdi Local Government Area alone.”

Noting that the situation is not acceptable, Ortom said similar killings were going on in Guma and Gwer-West. Ortom recalled he alerted Nigerians when Fulanis from 14 countries met in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

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He said they declared that except the prohibition of open grazing law was reviewed, “Benue will not know peace.” The governor wondered why the federal government was yet to arrest the leaders of Miyetti Allah that hosted the meeting. “It means we don’t have a government”, he declared.

“Mr President must do the needful and I want to suggest that immediately, let there be a security summit. I am aware that the situation is prevalent in other parts of the country.”
On Monday, the police command in Benue State also confirmed the kidnap of three students of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi.

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Freeze Pantami’s Accounts – Rinu Oduala Urges CBN

Wisdom Nwachukwu



An #EndSARS campaigner, Rinu Oduala, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze the bank accounts of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his past controversial comments supporting the activities of terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Pantami had since renounced his radical pro-terrorists comments, saying he now knows better but Nigerians have been unsparing and relentless in the call for the resignation or sacking of the minister.

Oduala, who tweeted via @SavvyRinu on Thursday, urged the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to freeze Pantami’s accounts just as the apex bank swiftly froze the accounts of at least 20 #EndSARS promoters last year over terrorism-related allegations.

“Godwin Emefiele, when are you going to freeze the bank accounts of Isa Pantami?”

The PUNCH had reported that the apex bank through an ex parte order froze the accounts of Oduala and 19 other persons who played a role in the October 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

The CBN had said the accounts were frozen because of the nature of the investigation which was terrorism-related but after about three months, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the apex bank to unfreeze the accounts of the 20 #EndSARS protesters.

Oduala, a leading voice during the #EndSARS protests last year, had pulled out of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing alleged killing of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate. She had faulted the decision of the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel to reopen the toll gate when justice hasn’t been served to the victims of the October 20, 2020 Lekki shootings.

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