By Jennifer Y Omiloli
It is reported that Ayodele Fayose, the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, has alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is planning to increase the pump price of petrol from N145 per litre to N185 in March next year.
In a statement by his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, the former governor said, “Nigerians have suffered enough in the hands of the APC government and won’t accept any further upward review of petrol pump price.”
“They are delaying the increment till March because of its effects on the February 2019 elections,” the statement said.
The former Ekiti governor opined that NNPC presentation to the Senate last week was a hint “N145 fuel pump price was unrealistic and that the pump price of petrol was supposed to be N185 per litre as against the official price of N145 per litre was a way to prepare the minds of Nigerians for the planned increment.”
Fayose’s allegation is coming after Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, had told Senate Ad-hoc Committee set up to investigate an allegation that the Corporation created a fund to finance fuel subsidy without appropriation by the National Assembly, that the NNPC set aside $1.05 billion to augment the differential between the landing cost of imported fuel and the pump price of N145 per litre.
Baru had said the landing cost of petrol was N185 per litre, pointing out that the N40 gap was being filled with the $1.05 billion Support Fund.
Reacting, Fayose said the Corporation must explain to Nigerians where it derived powers to “spend $1.05 billion, over N350 billion, from crude oil sales to subsidize petrol,” adding that it was inexplicable for any agency of the federal government to spend revenue belonging to the entire country without first remitting the fund into the federation account.
The former governor said, “smuggling is an outdated excuse for increasing petrol pump price, it will no longer be accepted by Nigerians.
“Nigerians are suffering. Millions of jobs have been lost and even many of those still employed are not gainfully employed. The federal government must not add to the burden of the suffering masses by increasing the pump price of petrol as being planned.”