Only President Bola Tinubu, according to human rights lawyer Femi Falana, has the authority to set the price of petrol at the pump.
Falana made this clarification on Friday, during a live interview on ChannelsTV “Politics Today.’
Following Tinubu’s pronouncement that subsidies are no longer available, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently altered the price of petrol across all of its retail locations. It stated that the modification was made to reflect market realities.
Falana, however, criticised the action on Friday, claiming that only the Federal Government has the authority to fix the product’s price.
He stated that because the current administration has not yet appointed a minister of petroleum, President Tinubu is now in charge of carrying out this duty.
“The NNPC has metamorphosed into a limited liability company. It is now NNPC Limited. To that extent, NNPC like Total, Exxon Mobil, and Shell operating in the oil industry, cannot announce an increase in the prices of petroleum products. That duty is vested in the government and that is what I mean [saying their action is illegal],” Falana said, citing a Federal High Court, Abuja judgement that says only the government can fix the prices of petroleum products.
“So, you ask the NNPCL: ‘Where have you got the powers to fix the prices of petroleum products, or the price of petrol, this time around, from N185 thereabouts to N540?’ So, how? The clarification is important.
“Under the current situation, we have found ourselves – since ministers have not been appointed and the President is running the country – only the president [Tinubu] can so decide for now because you have the Price Control Act. You have the PIA,” Falana maintained.
“There is no provision in our law for market forces to determine the prices of any product in the country.”
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