Fuel price: Coalition pleads for understanding

As reactions continue to trail the increase in pump price of fuel from N537 to N617 per litre, a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has called for understanding among Nigerians, saying that prices are being determined by foreign exchange fluctuations induced by international market forces.

This is as the price of fuel increased for the second time in less than two months into President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration, having removed fuel subsidy during his inaugural address on May 29, 2023.

The call was at the backdrop of Nigerians waking up to experience fuel pump price adjustment from N537 to N617 per litre on Tuesday, but reacting, the CSOs, said the cost of landing has increased due to FOREX instability.

The Civil Society Organisations, in a statement signed by the lead Convener, Dr Basil Musa and the Co-Convener, Malam Haruna Maigida explained that the subsidy regime had previously been favourable to some neighbouring African countries until its removal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently.

They expressed the hope that the increase would ensure continual importation of fuel by the independent marketers, and ensure availability of fuel at filling stations across the country and discourage smuggling.

Part of the statement which was made available to DAILY POST on Thursday read: “The cost of pump price in other African countries was still higher.

“This has been responsible for smuggling of PMS to those countries, but the current increment to N617 per pump price would discourage smuggling.

“The removal of subsidy was reflected in the drastic reduction in the imaginary consumption of 60 million litres to 40 million per day, now.”

Some of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations include: the Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy and Action against Corruption in Nigeria, among others.

According to them, measures which are being put in place to mitigate the hardship occasioned by the increment in pump price will not just be palliative, but to fully deregulate the mainstream and downstream sector so as to break the monopoly of fuel importation and ensure that Nigeria’s local refineries are optimally working.

(Daily Post)