Subsidy Had To Go, Jonathan’s SURE-P Was A Fraud – Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians not to lament the removal of fuel subsidy, which he described as a heavy yoke that the government could not allow to linger.

The former Governor of Lagos State said for almost three decades, the country had entertained distortions in the downstream oil sector by operating an opaque system susceptible to manipulations and structured in a way that allowed a few people to gain mightily from the system and feed fat on the misery and frustration of millions of Nigerians.

Tinubu said this on Thursday in a statement entitled, ‘Ending price fixing, the making of economic sense’.

He said it was understandable that the new pricing decision elicited mixed reactions from a cross-section of Nigerians as fuel subsidy had been with the nation for such a long period that it seemed an integral part of the country’s political and economic life.

“However, we should not lament the departure of something just because of its longevity, particularly, when that very policy had ceased to serve us long ago,” he stated.

The APC leader said the decision to end the subsidy was hard but inevitable, adding that it had transformed into a system where wrongdoers benefitted at the expense of the innocent.

“The bogus supplier was paid for supplying nothing, while you sweated in long queues for fuel that was never there. The smuggler secreted fuel across the border, while our economy crossed the border into fuel scarcity,” he added.

Tinubu said as the price stayed fixed at a low level, investors were apprehensive about fixing existing or building new refineries, and the petrochemical industry remained unfertilised because potential investors could not decipher how they could make a decent return under such a pricing regime.

According to him, because of these imbalances, the nation was forced to export hard currency and many jobs to purchase fuel and other products abroad.

He said, “While the price of fuel was cheap on paper, these were the hidden costs that made the subsidy regime an expensive and heavy yoke that the nation could not continue. With dwindling revenue from oil due to the slump in global oil prices and a dwindling forex reserve, the country could no longer live in denial.

“President (Muhammadu) Buhari, after carefully weighing the options, decided to do what is right. In an act of courage, he removed the oil subsidy, thereby freeing the downstream component of this strategic sector of the economy from the distortions of price fixing.”

The APC leader, however, stated that the decision should not be a step towards conservative austerity as practiced by the former government, which he said simply wanted to end the programme to “prove obedient to neoliberal economic doctrines.”

“They offered no programmes of valid compensation to the people. Instead, they instigated a policy of monumental fraud known as SURE-P. However, the only thing sure about it was that its architects would siphon the public’s funds to fatten their own wallets. They wanted to save money (for themselves) yet exploited the people for no good reason at all,” he added.

Tinubu said the Buhari government took a vastly different approach, adding, “Given the inefficiencies inherent in the pricing regime, this administration asked the fundamental question: could this money be better spent to help the most vulnerable of our people?

“For it was also recognised that the pricing regime was a regressive feature. Its benefit went disproportionately to the rich who needed no such help. Better to use the sums to more directly and exclusively assist the poor and working class Nigerians.”

He said Buhari followed through with a N500bn fund to support a social safety programme and empower the poor and needy, adding that five million school children would be fed for 200 days, among other plans of funding social infrastructure, education, transportation, health and other critical areas needing attention.

The APC leader stated, “What the President did is about the future of our country and that of the next generation. This government is transferring the funds to better spend them and better save the people.

“Nothing in this world is perfect but this decision is a just and correct one aimed at bolstering the economy, while caring better for those the system has unfairly treated.”

Termination Of Oil Subsidy Courageous – Senator Adeyeye

Economic realities do not change solely because of wishful thinking however ardent these wishes may be. Current realities dictate that Nigeria can no longer sustain pandering to the gallery of cheap populism. Elsewhere, a prominent member of the 8th National Assembly has countermanded the termination of subsidy by citing the subsidy that farmers enjoy in the USA. However, he completely missed the very significant difference in the purpose and mechanism of American subsidy to farmers versus the purpose and mechanism of so called oil subsidy in Nigeria.

For example, subsidizing dairy farmers in the USA is not done to keep prizes low; rather it is to prevent the prize of dairy products from falling too low! Such a fall would make farming unprofitable with farmers consequently choosing to abandon their farms. Hence, the US GOVERNMENT either pays farmers to produce less or buys excess agricultural products so as to decrease available supplies and thus increase price!

Second, the U.S. subsidy targets local agricultural production rather than subsidizing the price of imported foreign products. With regard to petrol price, an analogous subsidy in Nigeria would be to subsidize the cost of resuscitating our local refineries rather than giving free money to those claiming to be importing petrol. Yes, if we must, let us give tax breaks to Dangote and other investors who are willing to build new refineries. We are all witnesses to the decline of telephone costs after that sector was privatized and somewhat liberalized.

Nigeria has huge crude reserves but Crude oil is useless until it is extracted and refined! The USSR had extremely huge oil and gas reserve but lacked the technology to extract it! Consequently, the Soviet Union suffered energy crisis during the Cold War because the USA and NATO prevented Western Technology from being used to extract Soviet crude! Any lasting solution to Petrol prize in Nigeria should focus on replacing our decrepit and obsolete local refineries.

Court Halts Proposed NLC Strike

The National Industrial Court has asked the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, to put its planned strike on hold, pending the hearing and determination of a suit brought before it by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN.

Malami had dragged NLC to the Industrial Court, seeking an order of the court restraining the congress from proceeding with the planned strike on the ground that the strike would paralyse the nation’s economy.

The AGF wants the court to decide whether the NLC complied with conditions precedent in law before threatening to embark on strike, even as he told the Industrial Court that its refusal to grant the application would render the suit useless.

When asked by the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Adejumo how he got to know that the NLC was planning to embark on strike, Malami said he saw a statement issued by the labour union on their website and that the statement had been published by the media.

Ruling on an exparte application on Tuesday, the court ordered parties to maintain the status quo until the hearing and determination of the exparte motion.

Justice Adejumo, who held that the order is to last for seven days, directed the government to dialogue with the NLC towards an amicable resolution of their dispute.

Shortly after the petroleum minister, Ibe Kachikwu announced N145 as the new price for petrol, the organized labour asked the federal government to reverse the price of petrol within three days or face an indefinite industrial action that would shut down the country.

At the end of a joint meeting between the NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, on Saturday, the unions advised Nigerians to stockpile food and staples to prepare for a showdown with the government.

On Monday, a government delegation met with labour leaders to prevent the strike from holding, but the meeting ended in stalemate. The talks is scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

Senate Backs New Fuel Price Move By FG, Seeks Palliatives

The Senate has thrown its weight behind the decision of the Federal Government to fix the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, better known as petrol at N145 per litre, but urged the government to liaise with the labour unions to avert the proposed nationwide strike.

Rising from a closed-doors session presided by the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, the Senate empathized with Nigerians for the hardship that the new price of petrol will cause and called on the government to implement the palliatives.

Reading out the resolutions reached at the executive session, Ekweremadu said, “The Senate in a closed session deliberated on the increase in the pump price of PMS by the Federal Government and the threats by the organised Labour to embark on a nationwide strike.

“We resolved as follows: that we sympathise with ordinary people of Nigeria on the hardships they are going through.

“That the Senate will engage the Federal Government to find sustainable ways of improving the welfare of the people of Nigeria.

“That we call on government to continue to engage the organised labour and other stakeholders to resolve issues in order not to ground the system and impose more hardships on our people.

“That government should immediately start implementing palliative measures contained in the 2016 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly,” the Deputy Senate President said.

FG Appeals To Labour To Suspend Planned Strike

Ahead of the planned nationwide industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and a coalition of the civil society groups on Wednesday over the new price of petroleum, the federal government has requested for the understanding of all Nigerians, appealing to the organised labour to sheathe their sword.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was accompanied by the Group General Manager (Group Public Affairs) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Garba Deen, said this is not the time for any action that would further worsen the nation’s economy.

He said the situation that informed the new regime of the price of petroleum is dire, saying it is a global crisis, and that the policy was designed to permanently solve the problems.

‘’For instance, the United Arab Emirates, the third-biggest oil producer in OPEC, has become the first country in the oil-rich Persian Gulf to remove transport fuel subsidies. In addition, the country has announced that with effect from August 1, 2016, fuel prices will be deregulated’’, the minister stated.

‘’Also, in response to fiscal pressure caused by the fall in crude oil prices, OPEC’s top oil producer Saudi Arabia has announced a plan to raise fuel prices. You can now see that this is indeed a global problem.’’

Mohammed said with the drastic fall in the price of crude oil, which is the nation’s main foreign exchange earner, drastic reduction in the amount of foreign exchange available, the unavailability of forex and the inability to open letters of credit — which had forced marketers to stop product importation and imposed over 90% supply on the NNPC, since October 2015, in contrast to the past where NNPC supplies 48% of the national requirement, the federal government had no option than to announce new price of the product.

The federal government’s spokesman added: “The truth is that the NNPC does not have the resources for, nor is it designed to meet this increase in supply. The result is the crippling fuel situation across the country.

‘’Pushed to supply 90% of the products required for domestic consumption, the NNPC has continued to utilize crude oil volumes outside the 445,000 barrels/day allocated to it, thereby creating major funding and remittance gaps into the Federation account.

‘’As I said earlier, there is no provision for subsidy in the 2016 Appropriation. The erstwhile PMS price of N86.50 gives an estimate subsidy claim of N13.7 per litre which translates to N16.4 billion monthly. There is neither funding nor appropriation to cover this.’’

The minister added that the renewed insurgency and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta had also drastically reduced the national crude oil production to 1.65 million barrels per day, against 2.2 million barrels per day planned in the 2016 budget, saying this had further reducing income to Federation Account and also affecting crude volumes for PMS conversion and impacting Federal Government’s forex earnings.

‘’Let me also note that the resultant fuel scarcity has created an abnormal increase in price, resulting in Nigerians paying between N150 and N300 per litre as prevalent hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products have reduced volumes made available to citizens’’, the minister further stated.

‘’In the absence of available forex lines or crude volumes to continue massive importation of PMS, it is clear that unless immediate action is taken to liberalize the petroleum supply and distribution, the queues will persist, diversion will worsen and the current prices will spiral out of control.’’

My Deregulation/Oil Subsidy Conundrum By Femi Gbajabiamila

Over the years, I have been vociferous and faithful in my near fanatic opposition to the deregulation of the downstream oil sector if what it meant was the removal of fuel subsidy. If deregulation could be achieved without subsidy removal, I was on board. I argued passionately against its removal at a time when most economic experts, talking heads and commentators were for it and when it was fashionable to support it. I have attached a copy of a rather caustic and scathing article and letter I wrote in 2010 to then Acting President Jonathan. I was at that time in the opposition and the then Leader of the Action Congress in parliament. I will restate my position at the time.

I felt there was something wrong with the notion that a country blessed with a natural resource should lack that resource or any of its by products. I believed that the citizens should have a marked advantage in the utility and consumption of that product over citizens of other countries not so blessed, and to that extent the pricing of that product found in the country’s backyard should be different from international pricing. I gave examples such as the cost of tea in China, coffee in Brazil or coal in Sunderland. I felt as I still do, that there was something intrinsically whopped to have a natural resource in one’s backyard and at same time import same for consumption. It doesn’t make sense to me. I argued then and I still argue that if subsidy is to be removed, we must put the cart before the horse and get our refineries working so as not to import our own God given resource. Then perhaps after that we could entertain a debate on subsidy removal. Even then many of us would still have argued for subsidising even the production as opposed to its importation

During the 2012 subsidy debate, I argued vociferously and with a strong conviction that the idea of palliatives was irrelevant as the palliative measures proposed by the government then such as child care, transportation etc were things that belonged to citizens as of right and which government under Chapter 2 of the constitution were obligated to provide and therefore government was in no way doing Nigerians a favour, as you cannot give me something that’s already mine or at least should be and call it a palliative.

I further argued that subsidy connoted something negative only in Nigeria and not in other countries that subsidised one thing or the other for the benefit of citizens. There is and has been, for years, subsidy for transportation in the UK, agricultural subsidy in the US, and oil is subsidised in practically all major oil producing countries, and we don’t hear as much as a whimper. Why then Nigeria? Proponents argued because it is riddled with fraud and corruption and benefits only one percent of the populace. I bellowed back, well then why don’t you block the loopholes for the perpetration of the fraud and corruption? Why must the innocent 99 percent and poor masses suffer or be penalised for the inefficiency of government and the corruption of a few. Is it possible to argue that a government with all the might and power at its disposal cannot deal with this one percent? I couldn’t get a reasonable answer.

For me every spirited attempt to justify a removal of subsidy failed the common sense test or question of why Nigeria the fifth or sixth largest producer of crude (and the finest one at that) would be importing what it produced. There was definitely something nonsensical about such a proposition.

This was the position I held on to steadfastly over the years. It is now 2016 and if my position has changed to an extent, I owe It to my primary and larger constituents and indeed all Nigerians an explanation for the change.

I was at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday May 11th where a stakeholders meeting involving the leadership of the National Assembly, governors, Labour leadership, minister of state for Petroleum, ministers of Information and that of labour held. The meeting was chaired by the Vice President. It was a consultative meeting ostensibly to get the buy in of stakeholders. I was pumped and ready to challenge any proposition for an increase in pump price and my position was known to most people I spoke with.

However by the time the Honourable minister for petroleum finished his doomsday prognosis and gave a graphic account supported with facts and figures of where we are and where we would be in a matter of months if we did not alter the approach or fundamentally change the status quo, I had no option but to capitulate. It was the first time I had been confronted with such a gloomy picture. I found myself between a rock and a hard place. The facts were incontrovertible and the prognosis and consequences dire. We were in an economic cul-de-sac and the country was spiraling down fast due to no fault of this present administration. In fact it was clear that any responsible administration needed to apply the brakes, bring this to a screeching and painful halt and at least for now remove subsidy and deregulate. It was a short term remedy which, all things being equal, would produce a long term solution when the economy would have recalibrated. I struggled with my inner angel and knew this was the only way out. It was made abundantly clear to all seated that in two months there would be no federal allocation to states and no state would be able to pay salaries, including the buoyant ones. The Nigerian nation was on tenterhooks. That’s how bad a picture it was. Indeed I was the first to ask questions after the presentation still looking for a way out when I knew there was none.

Whilst I still believe in the principles I held on to so passionately years ago, including the need to bring any deregulation exercise in conformity with the law and the constitution, I believe this is such a time when we should look at the times we are in and our practical situation as a country. I believe (without sounding Trumpist) that Nigeria will be great again but we must rejig and reboot our economy and take another look at the subsidy regime. Many will say, but why did some of us kick in 2012 and if it was not good then why is it good now? It’s a great question and they are right, but again the times are different. In 2012, we were earning a lot of money from oil. Oil was selling at about 100 dollars or thereabout. We had foreign exchange and petro dollars to continue with subsidy. Now things are different. The economy is comatose and Nigeria is on life support. Oil is selling at below 40 dollars and the currency (dollar) needed to purchase the refined petrol is no longer available.

I want to plead with my constituents and all Nigerians to work with government. You are the most important stakeholders, never mind those of us that gathered around a long table and cushy chairs in the Vice President’s Office on Wednesday May 11th to take this far reaching decision. We did so only in a representative capacity. I urge that you please give this government the benefit of doubt and lets take a chance on whether or not the analogy and parallel often drawn by proponents of deregulation in the oil industry to telecommunications industry may end up a truism and that the price of fuel in a laissez-faire, free market will come crashing in months. Lets consider it a temporary sacrifice for the greater good, with the hope that as promised we will be better off in the long term. This problem is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is instructive that other oil producing countries e.g. Bahrain, have been hit hard by the crash in oil price and are towing the same line and reviewing their subsidy policies.

With this new development I intend to fight with all I have for a review of the minimum wage of all workers in Nigeria. Our country was built on social justice and I cannot, no matter the realities, accept a situation where the cost of living will be increased without a corresponding increase in wages. The sacrifices that we need to make must be comprehensive. Indeed I believe the “wealthy” must not only pay their fair share of taxes, if need be, there must be an upward review of taxes paid by the highest income earners to enable government review the wages of those on the lower rung. It is time to be our brothers’ keepers.

I know this is a painful road to take and I hate that I have to flip flop on this one, but isn’t what they say “no pain, no gain”.

Femi Gbajabiamila is Leader of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Abuja; [email protected]

NLC Threaten To Go On Strike Wednesday If Subsidy Removal Is Not Reversed

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the federal government that it would shut down the economy by Wednesday morning if it failed to revert the pump price of petrol from the N145 per litre to the initial price of N86.50.

NLC’s National Executive Council (NEC) said this after their meeting at the Labour House, Abuja yesterday.

NLC said it will join hands with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to lead Nigerian workers and their civil society allies to shut down the country if the federal government failed to reverse the price increase.

TUC is expected to make its own decision today.

“The Congress gave the government till late night on Tuesday within which to reverse the increased price of petrol and the electricity tariff, or face a total nationwide strike,” a source told Daily Trust.

“The NLC has deliberately delayed their press conference till today in order to liaise with their TUC counterpart, harmonise their positions and jointly address the media”, he added.

The source said the Congress has directed all its affiliate unions to set up a monitoring committee and ensure the success of the strike.

New Fuel Price Regime To Create 200,000 Jobs – FG

The Federal Government believes the new price regime for the downstream petroleum sector will go a long way in tackling the hardship faced by Nigerians and create additional 200,000 jobs in the country,the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported yesterday quoting from a bulletin issued by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

It said that the new price template would potentially create jobs through the envisaged new investments in refineries and retailing of crude oil products.

It stated that the new pricing template would also prevent potential loss of nearly 400,000 jobs in existing investments in the sector.

The bulletin explained that new framework would on the long run solve the recurrent fuel scarcity crisis by ensuring the availability of the products at all locations of the country.

It said the measure would also ensure the total elimination of hoarding, smuggling and diversion of the product while also stabilising price at the actual product price.

It stated that government, through the new price regime, would monitor the new price to ensure that citizens got a fair value for the products they purchased.

It said the new price would enable marketers to source their foreign exchange independent of the Central Bank of Nigeria and ensure adequate product supply in all locations of the country.

It explained that the measure would enable government to deliver on its statutory functions of power generation, security, provision of education and health.

The document explained that the new price regime would permanently eliminate subsidy payments and ensure the availability of funds for the full payment of monthly Federal Accounts Allocation Committee.

It will also provide additional funds for other palliatives and help in stabilising the economy by creating access to development loans.

Presidency Explains Hike In Fuel Price

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has released a statement explaining the rationale for the new fuel pricing and supply framework introduced by the Federal Government on Wednesday which has seen the price of petrol rise from N86 to N145.

The statement, personally signed by Mr. Osinbajo, is the first explanation by the presidency since the policy took effect midweek.

In the statement, entitled, “The Fuel Pricing Debate: Our Story”, Mr. Osinbajo said he had followed the various observations about the fuel pricing regime and the attendant issues generated but that as far as the presidency was concerned, what was most important is how to shield the poor from the worst effects of the policy.

The vice president then explained why the new pricing regime was introduced, and why it should be supported.

Read his full explanation below.

THE FUEL PRICING DEBATE: OUR STORY

Fellow Citizens:

I have read the various observations about the fuel pricing regime and the attendant issues generated. All certainly have strong points.

The most important issue of course is how to shield the poor from the worst effects of the policy. I will hopefully address that in another note.

Permit me an explanation of the policy. First, the real issue is not a removal of subsidy. At $40 a barrel there isn’t much of a subsidy to remove.

In any event, the President is probably one of the most convinced pro-subsidy advocates.

What happened is as follows: our local consumption of fuel is almost entirely imported. The NNPC exchanges crude from its joint venture share to provide about 50% of local fuel consumption. The remaining 50% is imported by major and independent marketers.

These marketers up until three months ago sourced their foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria at the official rate. However, since late last year, independent marketers have brought in little or no fuel because they have been unable to get foreign exchange from the CBN. The CBN simply did not have enough. (In April, oil earnings dipped to $550 million. The amount required for fuel importation alone is about $225million!) .

Meanwhile, NNPC tried to cover the 50% shortfall by dedicating more export crude for domestic consumption. Besides the short term depletion of the Federation Account, which is where the FG and States are paid from, and further cash-call debts pilling up, NNPC also lacked the capacity to distribute 100% of local consumption around the country. Previously, they were responsible for only about 50%. (Partly the reason for the lingering scarcity).

We realised that we were left with only one option. This was to allow independent marketers and any Nigerian entity to source their own foreign exchange and import fuel. We expect that foreign exchange will be sourced at an average of about N285 to the dollar, (current interbank rate). They would then be restricted to selling at a price between N135 and N145 per litre.

We expect that with competition, more private refineries, and NNPC refineries working at full capacity, prices will drop considerably. Our target is that by Q4 2018 we should be producing 70% of our fuel needs locally. At the moment even if all the refineries are working optimally they will produce just about 40% of our domestic fuel needs.

You will notice that I have not mentioned other details of the PPRA cost template. I wanted to focus on the cost component largely responsible for the substantial rise, namely foreign exchange. This is therefore not a subsidy removal issue but a foreign exchange problem, in the face of dwindling earnings.

Thank you all.

VICE PRESIDENT YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN
May 13, 2016

New Fuel Price Regime Is Inevitable – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the introduction of a new price regime for petrol has become inevitable in order to halt the crippling fuel scarcity in the country and ensure availability of the product.

He stressed that only the liberalization of petrol supply will ensure the availability of the products.

According to a statement issued by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi, the minister stated this on Friday at the inauguration of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, Marketers’ Conference in Lagos.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that that decision is inevitable, if we are to end the crippling fuel scarcity that has enveloped the country, ensure the availability of the products and end the suffering that our people have been subjected to,” he said.

Mohammed explained that the crash in the price of crude oil, which has impacted negatively on foreign exchange earnings, has further compounded the crisis in fuel supply.

“With the drastic fall in the price of crude oil, which is the nation’s main foreign exchange earner, there has also been a drastic reduction in the amount of foreign exchange available. The unavailability of forex and the inability to open letters of credit have forced marketers to stop product importation and imposed over 90% supply on the NNPC since October 2015, in contrast to the past where NNPC supplies 48% of the national requirement,” he said.

Mohammed elaborated that in the absence of available forex lines or crude volumes to continue massive importation of PMS, it is clear that unless immediate action is taken to liberalize the petroleum supply and distribution, the queues will persist, diversion will worsen and the current prices will spiral out of control.

He, however, said the liberalization of petrol supply and distribution will allow marketers and any Nigerian entity willing to supply PMS to source for their forex and import PMS to ensure availability of products in all locations of the country.

The Minister noted that the resultant fuel scarcity has created an abnormal increase in price, resulting in Nigerians paying between N150 and N300 per litre as prevalent hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products have reduced volumes made available to citizens.

He explained that the new fuel price regime should not be misconstrued as the removal of subsidy since there is no provision for subsidy in the 2016 Appropriation, saying the erstwhile PMS price of N86.50 gives an estimate subsidy claim of N13.7per litre which translates to N16.4 billion monthly.

“There is neither funding nor appropriation to cover this,” he explained.

Mohammed used the occasion to draw the attention of Nigerians to the renewed insurgency and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, which have drastically reduced national crude oil production to 1.65 million barrels per day, against 2.2 million barrels per day planned in the 2016 budget thereby reducing income to Federation account and also affecting crude volumes for PMS conversion.

Listing the benefits of the new price regime, he said it would end the recurrent fuel scarcity by ensuring product availability across the country, reduce hoarding, smuggling and diversion of products substantially, improves fuel supply situation through private sector participation, creates labour market stability, as this will potentially create additional 200,000 jobs through new investments in refineries and retails and prevents potential loss of 400,000 jobs in existing investments”.

The minister further assured that under the new price regime, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, will be further empowered to ensure a level playing field and strict compliance with market rules by all stakeholders and consumer protection.

Reverse Subsidy Removal Within Seven Days, Dino Melaye Tells Buhari

The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Sen. Dino Melaye, Thursday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his decision on fuel subsidy withdrawal within 7 days or face what he called mother-of-all protest.

Melaye equally urged the National Chairman of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Odigie Oyegun, to prevail on the Buhari-led Federal government to do the needful.

Melaye took to his Facebook page threatening that if after seven days (from Monday next week) there is no reversal, he will mobilize Nigerians from all walks of life for the mother of all protest.

He said: “My sincere advise is for the National Chairman of our party to suggest that the federal government immediately reverse the announced increase in the pump price of PMS.

“If after seven days from Monday, there is no reversal, I will mobilize Nigerians from all walks of life for the mother of all protest.

“This is not what we promised Nigerians. The time is not right and the negative effects will be unbearable. A word is enough for the wise.”