The present federal government of Nigeria led by President Muhammad Buhari has openly announced to Nigerians that the price of Petrol shall begin to sell for eight-five naira (N85) per litre by January, 2016 as against the current price N87. With this announcement, it now implies that there is N2 price reduction in the pump price of petrol.
The decision of Buhari’s led government to slash the pump price of petrol at the filling station by N2 follows the fall of crude oil price at the international oil market. Presently, the price of crude oil now goes for $30 per barrel as against $70, $80, $100 in the last administration. The federal government did not only announce reduction of petrol price but also declared to the public about the total removal of fuel subsidy come 2016.
Recall that prior to May 29 2015 general election, APC as a party and good numbers of her Chieftains had kicked against selling Petrol at N87 per litre. One of the notable All Progressive Congress Chieftains who had vehemently slammed the immediate past administration on the issue of oil prices and the decay in the petroleum industry was Professor David-West, one time petroleum Minister during the first Buhari’s Military regime.
The former Petroleum Minister, Professor David West had continuously maintained that selling Petrol at N87 per Litre was a total scam, a ploy of federal government to short-change helpless Nigerians. He averred that most oil producing countries sell their refined products to their citizens at price equivalent to Nigerians N45 per litre. He then wondered what the crime of Nigerians was for federal government to subject them to buying petrol at N87 per litre.
He also noted that the fuel subsidy as operated was not in existence at all. He opined that if the federal government was sincere in her dealings, there is nothing like fuel subsidy at all talks more of removing it. He further declared that the cost of producing refined petrol and other service charges if put together, the selling price of petrol at the filling stations ought not to be above N45 per litre as was obtainable in other oil producing country of the World who sells refined Oil at a price equivalent to Nigerian N45 per litre.
He therefore posited that General Muhammadu Buhari when elected shall sanitize the petroleum sector by reducing the pump price of petrol to reflect its price in other oil producing countries of the World. He and many other notable Nigerians demystified the last administration on how they poorly handled petroleum sector noting that when Buhari gets to power, he shall bring his experience to bear by making regular fuel supply to every Nigerians. They hinted that General Muhammadu Buhari is a Man of his words and truly knows what to do to make the plight of ordinary Nigerians better.
Thus, General Muhammadu Buhari as was called then, on his part was not left out on the criticism as he equally cried to high heaven that Nigerians did not deserve the kind of treatment they were subjected to with high price of fuel and the occasional irregular fuel supply at the filling Stations thus, promising to make things better when elected.
My readers would agree with me that it was on these premise, most Nigerians repose confidence in All Progressive Congress and her Presidential Candidate as one Man who can reposition the ship of the Nation. Barely, seven Months into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, nothing seems to change as far as petroleum industry in Nigeria is concerned in-spite that President Muhammadu Buhari doubled as the substantive Petroleum Minister.
Nigerians had once questioned the rationale of President Muhammadu Buhari for making himself as Petroleum Minister while still holding the position of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria but again had to swallow the bitter pill contending what they want was improvement in the oil sector and if making himself is the only way to achieve this, let it be.
With the way President Buhari ardent supporters had made Nigerians to see him before election and the ray of hope promised, this necessitated me to give critic of him vis-ser-vis his recent resolve to have fuel price reduced by N2 and his earlier pledged to make the plight of Nigerians a priority in his administration.
I must therefore say that the reduction of fuel price by N2 is the greatest harm any government of Nigeria had ever inflicted on her citizens since Nigeria’s country independence. Buhari’s resolved to have fuel price reduced by N2 clearly shows that he is playing to the gallery in making the life of ordinary Nigerians better who find it hard to ace-out a living.
I am not criticizing President Buhari just because i don’t like his face, but i am doing this because i am one of the many Nigerians who know where his shoe is pinching. President Muhammadu Buhari has added salt to water and has made things worse for ordinary Nigerians on his N2 fuel price reduction as nothing seems to change. More hardship waits Nigerians with Buhari’s N2 fuel price reduction.
Let me educate my readers that the last administration had put the refined fuel price at N87 per litre when the international crude oil was selling for $100 per barrel. Today, the cost of crude oil at the International Oil Market has fallen to $30 per barrel. The $30 price crude oil price at the international oil Market implies 65% crude oil price reduction.
You don’t need any professors to educate Secondary School Economic Student that the price of fuel at the filling station ought to reflect the percentage crude oil price reduction at the International Oil Market. If the present All Progressive Congress led government is truly sincere to Nigerians and considered the plight of Nigerians a priority just like the way they had portrayed themselves to be before the election, the new fuel price ought to be reduced by N50 as against the N2 as announced by President Buhari led Federal Government of Nigeria.
The question now is why Nigeria should get only N2 reduction in the cost price of petrol at the filling station in 2016 when the International crude oil Price has drastically reduced. From the above, i have every reason to say that the N2 fuel price reduction is cosmetic and no change at all and so those hailing President Buhari on fuel price reduction should better have a rethink.
From the foregoing, the ‘change mantra’ as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari and his party has been rubbished with his recent stance to have Petrol Price reduced by just N2 instead of N50 which suppose to be the reality price reduction.
President Muhammadu Buhari should as a matter of fact reduce the new petrol price by 60% to reflect the percentage crude oil price reduction as the announced N2 fuel petrol price reduction is an insult to Nigerians.
Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and public affairs commentator writes from Abuja.
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