Nigerians Reject High Fuel Price, Demand Change
Nigerians have decried the persistent increase in prices despite the broad-based economic uncertainties that are about to plunge the nation into a second recession in four years.
The Buhari led administration had adjusted the fuel pricing template to reflect market price during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic when oil price plunged below $20 per barrel in April.
However, the rebound in fuel price to $45.2 per barrel as economies gradually reopen means Nigerians will now be paying more for the same fuel consumption. A situation Nigerians have rejected despite been the ones calling for the removal of fuel subsidy.
Again, the timing is also a big issue especially after recent reports from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1 percent with inflation hovering around 12.82 percent and the Naira exchange rate at a four-year low of N440 to a US dollar on the black market.
Other factors like the poor business activities in the manufacturing sector, VAT increase, additional charges imposed on flight tickets and imports at a time when Nigerians are struggling to stay alive forced many Nigerians to call for protests against an inconsiderate government.
Also, the lack of clear policy direction despite the numerous weak economic data continues to hurt economic sentiment and outlook as both foreign and local investors are holding back on new investments that would have helped ease the high unemployment rate and support consumer spending.
On Wednesday Nigerians finally said enough is enough after D.O Abalaka, the lead sales -Ibadan Depot, said Pipelines Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, has adjusted pump price again.
Abalaka said, “Please be informed that a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform”.
“To this end, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is now one hundred and fifty-one naira, fifty-six kobo (N151.56k) per litre.”
He added that “This takes effect from September 2, 2020.”
The announcement was made a day after the electricity tariff was adjusted to reflect consumption and not the fixed rate adopted previously.
Some of the aggrieved Nigerians have taken to their Twitter handles to call out President Buhari led administration on the persistent increase in prices.
Reno Omokri, a social commentator, said “If anyone had told me that General @MBuhari would increase fuel price to ₦162 and:
“Would be silent, I would have called them a liar. Alas, those who shut down Nigeria in 2012, have today shut their mouths!.”
Motivated George said “Fuel price is up, Electricity fee is up, Inflation rate is up 13%, Our government still want to use tax to kill us. We are all tired. So, as Nigeria marks her 60th anniversary this October, what would you say to Nigeria if she was a person? Use #OrijinalTalk talk in your reply.”
However, one Adejumo Abayomi, a President Buhari supporter, disagreed. He blamed PDP that sold the nation’s power companies for signing a poor agreement with the buyers.
“They sold DISCOs to themselves, and keep receiving 40% electricity tariff subsidy,” Abayomi stated.
He added that “They closed d deal with condition that will cost us $8b should we cancel d deal. Many of these @OfficialPDPNig men who were active during the signing are now blaming @MBuhari. Are they okay?.”
Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents
President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.
Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.
He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.
“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.
“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.
“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.
“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
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