Cancel new petrol price now – Falana tells Buhari

By The Citizen

Human and legal rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel the new N145 per litre pump price of petrol and save the people from further pains.

Falana described Wednesday's increase in the price of petrol as not only insensitive and immoral but also illegal. He appealed to the Federal Government to revert to the old price of N86.50 and consult widely with stakeholders over a new pump price.

'As the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) which is statutorily empowered to recommend the price of petroleum products has not been reconstituted, the unilateral decision of the Executive Secretary of the body to fix the pump price at N145 per litre is ultra vires and illegal in every material particular. In view of the illegality, insensitivity and immorality of the price increase, the federal government should cancel it, revert to the status quo and consult widely with all relevant stakeholders in the society,' he stated.

Falana also reminded President Buhari of his campaign promise not to remove fuel subsidy and warned him against listening to neo-liberal characters in his government to remove fuel subsidy and increase the price of petrol.

'On January 18, 2016 the federal government allayed the fear of the Nigerian people when the price of petrol was reduced to N86.50k per litre. In justifying the decision, the federal government claimed that the reduction was due to an implementation of the revised component of the Petroleum Products Pricing Template for PMS and household kerosene.

'Hence, without any public debate or consultation with relevant stakeholders whatsoever, the federal government took the Nigerian people by surprise yesterday when it decided to increase the pump price of petrol from N86.50k to N145 per litre.

'The decision to increase the price of petrol is also illegal and contemptuous. In the case of Bamidele Aturu versus Attorney-General of the Federation (unreported suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/591/2009) the Federal High Court declared illegal and unconstitutional the policy decision of the federal government to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry contrary to the combined effect of the provisions of the Price Control Act and the Petroleum Act. – The News.