By Ebenezer Ishola
The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), a group of governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused oil marketers of causing hardship in the country.
Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo and PGF’s chairperson, spoke on Friday after he led his colleagues to visit President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock villa.
On Monday, Tinubu, in his inauguration speech, said the subsidy regime was over, noting that it was not provided for in the 2023 appropriation act.
The president’s pronouncement sparked panic-buying of petrol by Nigerians across the country.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited said it would adjust its pump prices to reflect market realities. The commodity now sells for as high as N550 per litre.
Uzodinma expressed dismay that the marketers were quick to increase prices when the product they had was already subsidised.
“For instance, from May 29 till today, I’m not aware that any petroleum marketer has imported any product. All the products in their storage facilities are those already imported, subsidised by the government,” he said.
“Why the rush to increase the prices? It is man’s inhumanity to man. I think that what we should do is be our brother’s keepers and learn how to save the firewood we got during the dry season, so we can use it during the rainy season.
“But I also think that as we work towards improving the economy of this country with the intention of creating prosperity, the government will be reasonable enough to look at the reality on the ground and address them as appropriate.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the man who has raised his pump price from N300 plus to N500 plus is creating panic.”
Uzodinma said he expected market forces of demand and supply to fix an appropriate price for citizens.
“By next month, July, the Dangote refinery will be on stream and it’s a very big refinery that will make products available,” he said.
“You are aware that the federal government awarded turnaround maintenance contracts for Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri refineries, so if within the period, these refineries are working, products will be available and the market forces will come into play.”