Petrol Price: FG Can't Sustain N145, Commoners Will Suffer

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Some respondents from Delta State said that the Federal Government decision to increase petrol pump price from N86 to N145 per litre would negatively impact on the commoners.

The respondents spoke in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday in Asaba.

They also lamented that the impact could be severe, more so, that it could be difficult for government to guarantee the N145/L in a deregulated economy where the dealers on petrol would have to source their dollars.

Speaking on the issue, Mr Raymos Guanah, former Delta State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, said that the federal government should have done enough sensitization before announcing the increment.

He said that it would be difficult for the Federal Government to guarantee the N145/L when she had asked fuel importers to source forex from secondary market.

“The FG cannot guarantee the N145 per litre as the importers will sell based on how they got their dollars. This action will make the demand for dollar go very high, it will lead to an increase in the price of goods and services and may also be a justification for the agitation for increase in salaries. It is the common Nigerians that will bear the brunt”, he said.

Also, a Legal Practitioner, Mr Frank Esenwah, said that the implications of the pricing policy were here and it ranges from spiralling cost of living, inflation, workers agitations and strikes for higher wages.

“Further descent of the societal weakness into more poverty, stress induced illness and even deaths. Labour layoffs, low productivity are also imminent arising from burdensome wage bills and cost of production”, he said.

He lamented that this was coming at a time most Nigerians were already traumatized from the glaring poor and weak handling of the economy which has gone comatose.

“We can only hope the imagined benefits of the decision will come up quickly before suicide rates go up”, Esenwah said.

On his part, Mr Jerry Ossai, former Delta State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) said that it may be too early to speculate the outcomes of the pump price increase because government may be providing palliatives.

He said though the immediate outcome of the move would leave the poor worse off.

“Let's hope some palliative is in the works. Besides, we must expect immediate upward spiral of costs especially in the transport sector and this will impact negatively on food and other commodity prices, thus leaving the poor worse off”, Ossai said.

Mr. Samuel Mordi, a Journalist said the time was certainly not the best for the masses, adding that the move portends danger for the poor.