Thursday, 19 May 2016
Fuel Price House Of Reps Declare Support For FG
The House of Representatives on Wednesday made a formal declaration of support for the decision of the Federal Government to remove the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, better known as petrol.
As a result of the decision, a litre of petrol now sells for N145, up from N86.50k.
However, the government claimed that what it did was price increase and not the removal of subsidy or deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
On Wednesday, the House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, backed the price hike.
The price hike had pitted the government with organalised Labour, as a faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress led by Mr. Ayuba Wabba, vehemently opposed it.
The group had called for an indefinite nationwide strike on Wednesday, though other labour groups, including the Trade Union Congress, pulled out.
The House had intervened in a bid to resolve the dispute by summoning the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to appear before it on Monday.
After Kachikwu’s appearance, where he said the government would not reverse the new price regime, the House also invited labour leaders to hear their own side of the story on Tuesday.
An adhoc committee chaired by the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, was mandated to interface with labour leaders.
The committee presented an interim report to the House on Wednesday, which was adopted wholesale by lawmakers.
In adopting the report, the House said it was in support of the price hike.
It added that it “overwhelmingly expressed solidarity towards deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry in the greater interest of the Nigerian economy and posterity.”
While supporting the price regime, the House urged labour to continue to “show understanding of the situation, while engaging in dialogue in the interest of its teeming membership and Nigeria.”
In addition, lawmakers advised the “Executive arm to ensure full and speedy implementation of the Appropriations Act, 2016, as therein lies much of the palliatives that will help in calming the current situation.”