There was anger across the land on Friday after a new petrol price of N170 per litre unexpectedly came into effect.
It is an increase of N10 from the N160 per litre introduced only on September 4.
The Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisation of Nigeria said the new price and other policies of the federal government were more devastating than COVID-19.
Other Nigerians took to the social media to berate the government for what they called its insensitive disposition to the plight of Nigerians.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) asked its members to sell Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) for N170 per litre following Thursday’s night announcement of a new ex-depot price of N155.17 by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
National Vice President of IPMAN, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, said: “The (PPPMC) last midnight told us that the ex-depot price is now N155.17 per litre. We have directed our marketers to sell for N170 per litre.”
He said the price would still depend on the forces of demand and supply.
The Chairman of IPMAN, Kano Branch, comprising Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa and Katsina states, Bashir Dan-Mallam, said the association acted in obedience to a PPMC circular of November 11, 2020.
Dan –Mallam said: “I call on all our members within our branch to immediately change the price of their metres from N160 per litre to between N168 and N170 per litre.
“This development came after we received a circular from PPMC, advising us on the upward review of the price after it reviewed the market fundamentals for the month of November 2020.
The Southwest zonal chairman of IPMAN, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, described the price increase without any consideration for the current economic and political situation of the country as uncalled for.
He appealed to the federal government to stay action on the new price to avoid unnecessary tension in the country.
He asked government to “shelve the planned increase until further notice, to give room for consideration and adjustment.”
He said IPMAN would hold an emergency meeting with other stakeholders to “trash out this unbecoming and the arbitrary increase in ex-depot prices.”
Some filling stations in Lagos belonging to IPMAN members refused to sell petrol for a few hours yesterday because of what they saw as uncertainty of the new pump price.
IPMAN’s President, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that that there was no need for panic buying because the move was based on the price notation to marketers by the PPMC.
He said: “We buy from them and we heard that there is a new ex-depot price.
“Now people will like to know whether that is true from the source so that they will not sell at a loss.
“So the marketers are waiting for clarification from PPMC because a lot of people were not privy to the memo.
“Hopefully, it will be resolved soon and everybody will start selling.’’
Okoronkwo insisted that the Federal Government was right to remove subsidy on PMS in spite of the hike in the pump price of petrol which may hit N170 soon.
He said: “We know this was bound to happen as the price is now determined by market forces. But it will be beneficial to the country in the long run.
“More investors are coming into the sector, and once we are able to refine our products locally, the pump prices will reduce.
“Walter Smith Refinery in Imo is already up and running and people have started loading products from there. Dangote Refinery in Lagos will soon start operation too.
“We have others in Bayelsa and Rivers, and by 2021, we will be expecting the prices to stabilise.’’
New price more devastating than COVID-19, say informal sector workers
Reacting to the new fuel price yesterday, the Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisation of Nigeria (FIWON) said the incessant rise in price of fuel was devastating the generality of Nigerians even more than COVID-19.
The General Secretary of FIWON, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, told reporters in Abuja that workers in the informal sector were being particularly hit by government policies such as the incessant hike in fuel price.
His words: “It is a shame and it remains an open sore that Nigeria as an oil-producing country could be importing fuel and we believe the Buhari administration has failed in this regard.
“The promise to revamp the economy and stop fuel importation is one of the reasons we voted for this government.
“The government should also invest in refineries like other OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) members. Even South Africa, which is not an oil-producing country, has a refinery.
“Government policies have devastated Nigerians more than COVID-19. Some workers complained that they received half salary, but workers in the informal sector did not even receive any salary.”
FIWON is a national network of informal, self-employed working people committed to the advancement of the working people in the informal sectors with over 50 million members in 170 organisations across 21 states.