The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, has condemned the latest increase in the pump price of petrol, describing it as ill-timed and insensitive, .
Recall, that the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, had announced a new retail price band for oil Marketers on Wednesday, July 1. In a circular dated July 1, the downstream regulator said that oil Marketers are now expected to sell petrol within the price range of N140.80 and N143.80.
Part of the circular reads: “Please, recall the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which petroleum Marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail stations, based on the existing price regime.
“After a review of prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June, and considering Marketers’ realistic operating costs as much as practicable, we wish to advise of a new PMS guiding pump price band of N140.80 – N143.80 per litre, for the month of July 2020.”
Speaking on behalf of the Union, ASUU President, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, said that the increment “would no doubt have a spiralling effect on the cost of living, transportation, commodity items, and other areas of peoples’ lives that are essential for meaningful living”.
Accusing the Federal Government of “planning to increase the burden of the people”, Ogunyemi asked: “What stops us from fixing our refineries all these years? Buhari’s administration has been around for five years now, and all they keep telling us each time they tinker with the pump price, is that they would use the fund generated from what they saved from subsidy to address the problems of the refineries. But none of the refineries can be said to work up to 50 percent capacity.”
He added: “We need to buckle up, but we know no government will budge unless pressures are brought to bear, and I believe at the appropriate time, those who know how to bring that pressure will come up.”
Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is set to protest the increase.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said in Abuja: “The Nigeria Labour Congress rejects any further hike in electricity tariff, the pump price of petrol, and other essential public utility charges. The NLC is fully ready to mobilise our people to resist attempts by anyone to impose modern-day slavery on Nigerians; be they distribution companies or regulators of public utilities.”