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Nigerian lawmakers reject call to reverse petrol price hike

Nigerian lawmakers reject call to reverse petrol price hike

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a call to reverse the N617 petrol price.

This followed the debate on a motion moved by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere (LP, Imo) at the plenary on Wednesday.

In his motion, the lawmaker called on the House to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the increment of the Petrol Pump Price by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the Marketers.

He said, Section 32 of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 saddles the Petroleum Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority with the task of regulating and monitoring technical and commercial midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria.

Ugochinyere however Informed that, Petrol Pump Price was increased from N537 to N617 by Petrol marketers on Tuesday 18th July, 2023 without conferring with the relevant agencies of government.

“In view of the current socio-economic challenges being faced by Nigerians, a hike in the price of fuel will heap great suffering and hardship on Nigerians”.

However, while debating the motion, lawmakers conversant with the oil marketing industry argued that, it amounts to undue interference in a deregulated, liberalised sector, a submission supported by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, who presided over the plenary.

Kalu reminded the lawmakers that, the National Assembly has no power to determine fuel pump price.

He however noted that, as Representatives of the people, they emphasised with the masses and will do anything within its power to act without infringing on the provisions of the law.

Speaking after the plenary, Abubakar Hassan Fulata (APC,Jigawa) said, any move to fix fuel pump price amounts to violation of law by the legislature at the moment.

He reminded that, the National Assembly enacted the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which deregulated and liberalised the sector which was welcomed by Nigerians.

He said, “We made these laws and we cannot violate it. It is clear, the petroleum sector has been liberalised. Although there are agencies saddled with regulating the sector, that is not to say, there will be outright interference.

“In this kind of situation, there are factors and forces that drive the sector and they always vary defending on what is happening in the global market. Things will change for the better.These are only some of the occasional shocks that are inevitable.

“It was an unfortunate development, but we are not insensitive to what is happening regarding oil pump price increase. Our hands are tied and we go by the provisions of the law in any situation. We support anything that will alleviate the sufferings brought about by the increase and the removal of subsidy”.

 

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