The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have called on the Federal Government to slash further the price of petrol from the present N87 to N50 per litre.
Labour officials, who spoke with the National Mirror in separate interviews yesterday, said the N87 per litre price was still high considering developments in the global oil market.
They said that the price of crude oil had crashed from over $100 to over $40 per barrel in the past one year, leading to a significant reduction in the cost of procurement and refining of petroleum products, especially petrol.
NLC Chairman, Kwara State chapter, Mr. Faruq Akanbi, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in llorin that the current rate was not yet in consonance with developments in international market. Akanbi said that the removal of N10 from the petrol pump price was yet to take Nigerians to the Promised Land.
The NLC chairman said the Federal Government should allow the level in which crude oil prices had dropped in the global market to reflect on fuel price in the domestic market.
“Since crude oil currently sells at less than $50 per barrel, the pump price of petrol in Nigeria should be N50,” he said.
The NLC Chairman also described current pump price of petrol as a misnomer, political and a calculated attempt to cheat Nigerians, especially the general public.
NLC General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, cited the example of the United States of America which reduced the pump price by 33 per cent.
He said the Federal Government needed to do what was right by bringing the price downward to N50.
Ozo-Eson said the NLC requested the government to effect a downward price reduction that would reflect the sustained price slump of crude oil in the international market in order for Nigerians to benefit from the development.
The TUC, while commending what it termed “government’s sensitivity to the plight of millions of impecunious Nigerians”, added that “the N50 mark is the best Nigerians deserves.”
TUC President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, said the previous N10 reduction did not make any significant impact on costs of transportation, goods and services.
He said prior to the price reduction, the government had substantially devalued the naira, ensuring that the full benefits of falling crude price did not get to Nigerians. “We commend the government for listening to our advice.
However, the price reduction we envisaged is the one that will operate within the institutional framework of PPPRA.
“The logic of our reasoning is hinged on the premise that only the PPPRA is charged with the statutory responsibility of determining petroleum product prices based on a relatively acceptable template,” Kaigama added.
The LCCI Director- General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said the reduction was too small in relation to the oil price drop and the rate of naira devaluation.
He said the fuel price adjustment should be a total relieve to the business sector as it was expected to drastically reduce the cost of doing business in the country.
Yusuf said the council would meet this week to review many issues, including developments in the oil market and domestic pricing of petroleum products and provide wise counsel to the government.
An energy analyst, Mr. Bala Zaka, said: “The price of petrol needs to be reduced further because the latest reduction does not reflect the level in which crude oil price has dropped in the global market.”
Bala said the government should have given an advanced notice to stakeholders, especially marketers as many of them procured their stocks under the former price regime.
“This would have enabled them to finish their previous stocks and procure new stocks to be able to sell as the present price.”
The National President of Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Colman Obasi, stated that the price of fuel should be pegged at N50 per litre in view of developments in the oil market.
“The Federal Government has no justification to sell fuel at N87 per a litre because the price of crude has fallen to over $40 per barrel,” he stated.
He said it was incomprehensible why the price of petrol had been reduced to only N87 per litre when the price of crude oil had crashed in excess of that margin in the world oil market.
Some fuel service stations in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, yesterday complied with the Federal Government’s new price regime of N87 per litre but only after initially selling at the old price of N97 per litre.
(Source: National Mirror)