Just when Nigerians thought their nightmares were over, another Nigerian fuel price hike is about to be a reality.
The Minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu says that the fuel price which came down to N86. 50 will go up again to N145 per litre.
According to the minister, this is the only way to curb the high prices that Nigerians purchase the commodity across the nation. He assures Nigerians that the effect of this official hike will be attended to.
He says there are provisions in the budget to balance up the gaps in the lives of Nigerians.
The current Nigerian fuel price hike is expected to help reduce fuel scarcity in the future. For this reason President Buhari has removed the fuel subsidy which costs the nation about $2.7 million in a day.
Oil analyst, Neil Ford, says the subsidy policy has encouraged corruption in the government. It makes the government pay for more than Nigerians use.
With the official Nigerian price Hike, Kachikwu is certain that the fuel market will stabilize and the supply will increase. He maintains that at N145 per litre, “Nigeria would remain one of the cheapest fuel markets in Africa.”
In Ghana for instance, petrol is purchased at a higher amount than in Nigeria. The reason why they do not complain is that the welfare of the people is inversely related to Nigeria. As many states battle and in fact refute the N18, 000 minimum wage policy, it will generally be hard for the average Nigerian to cope with the new price.
The decline of foreign exchange in Nigeria has made it difficult for importers to meet up with their 50% supply of petrol in the country. Taking that into consideration, the government resolved that:
“In order to increase and stabilize the supply of the product, any Nigerian entity is now free to import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by Regulatory Agencies.”
Till the old stock is finished, state owned filling stations-NNPC, still sell at the old price. Private filling stations have started selling at the new price. The trade union and a large number of Nigerians are fuming over this development. The union calls the increment, “criminal”.