By Ademola Adeleye
Nigerians woke up to a rude shock today. The Federal Government headed by Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General with perceived integrity has again gone back on his promise and in another bizarre and unexplainable decision, increased the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The new price now stand at N212.61 per litre. The old price was N163 per litre.
The increase is coming only two weeks after the government assured Nigerians that there will be no hike in the price of PMS, at least for the month of March 2021. But late Thursday, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced the new retail price for the month will be between N209.61 and N212.61.
The ex-depot price, which is the amount sold by fuel depot owners to marketers, will be N206.42, while the landing cost stands at N189.61 per litre, the agency said.
On March 1, the NNPC said in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, that contrary to speculations of imminent increase in the price of petrol in the country, there would be no increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March.
The increase is coming in the midst of extreme financial difficulties in the country occasioned by gross incompetence and corruption of the government. It is also on the heels of a partial fuel scarcity which has lingered for weeks in some capital cities including Abuja.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the state-owned regulator which is responsible for importing refined products to the country had assured Nigerians that it has deregulated the oil sector and no longer pays subsidy, this means prices of PMS would be adjusted as international oil price dictate.
An increase in the price of crude oil would mean the longsuffering Nigerians would pay more for PMS per litre, a cost which would be passed on to the prices of goods and service and foodstuff. Unfortunately, millions of Nigerians are falling into the poverty trap every day while inflation continues to rise.
President Buhari and his corruption-ridden government have paid no attention at all to the sufferings of the people including an alarming rate of insecurity such that cannot even be compared to civil war era.
Buhari’s attitude to fellow Nigerians have left many baffled and has fueled the rumour spread by Nnamdi Kanu, the founder of a splinter group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that the man in Aso rock is a clone of the president.
The President has remained silent as herdsmen and bandits mainly from his Fulani tribe run riot all over the country, kidnapping, raping and killing Nigerians. Abduction of school children is now a very common occurrence. Many Nigerians believe the President is more loyal to his tribe than to Nigeria.