THE federal government had announced a new fuel pricing regime which had sent the pump price to an all time high of N145 per litre
This development was a culmination of the various economic crises that had confronted the present government since inception.
The Global Economic Prospect, June 2015 edition of the World Bank titled, “The Global Economy in Transition”reported that despite some pickup in economic growth rate across the world in the first quarter 2015, lower oil price is having an increasingly pronounced impact, mostly negative, on oil-exporting countries like Nigeria.
Lower prices have sharply reduced economic activity and increased exchange rates, and inflation pressures.
By the time President Mohammadu Buhari was one month in office oil price briefly recovered from about USD53/ barrel as at May to about USD63, a development which had given a glimmer of hope.
However, it began an uninterrupted drop down to less than USD30 in March 2016 before rebounding to USD45 as at this week.
To make this worse, we are producing less than the targeted amount of oil.
We were doing about 1.8 million barrels per day, achieved as at June last year, which has now dropped further to about 1.67mbpd this week.
With an oil-dependent economy, the impact of this development on government finances was obvious and it impact in other parts of the economy such as external reserves, real exchange rate, inflation, gross domestic products and general wellbeing of Nigerians.
NATIONAL leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has appealed to Nigerians to take the difficulties that might arise as a result of the new pump price of fuel as a sacrifice for a better future
In a statement issued by his media office, the two-term governor of Lagos state, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking “a bold step”, telling Nigerians that “this pain is necessary”
He said the new development will clear the rot in the petroleum sector, and push out “fake businessmen who became true billionaires over night.
“We all want fuel at a cheaper price under the subsidy, we got the right price but not the fuel,” the statement read.
“I would be lying if I said this will cause no pain or dislocation. However, it will stabilise supply and end the costs associated with long waits and delays for fuel. The days and hours of waiting for fuel will be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress has invited civil society bodies in the country to attend its emergency National Executive Committee meeting today (Friday) to discuss an appropriate response to the removal of subsidy on petrol.
Ozo-Eson said that the NLC had moved up the NEC meeting it earlier called for Monday next week to deliberate on the 45 per cent increase in electricity tariff today (Friday) because of the unexpected removal of fuel subsidy.
He also denied the claim by Kachikwu that the fuel subsidy was removed after consultations with all relevant stakeholders.
He stated that the NLC, Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria were invited for the first time to attend a meeting at the office of the Vice President on Tuesday.