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Falana tackles Nigerian govt over rising price of fuel



femi Falana

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said on Sunday the Federal Government is empowered by law to fix fuel prices in the country.

In a statement personally signed, the rights activist rejected the claim by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, that the government could not intervene in the crisis over the rising price of kerosene.

The minister said during a media briefing on Monday the government lacks the authority to take action on the increasing cost of the product.

He said: “Kerosene, which is the fuel for the average household, is already a deregulated product. It is not necessarily within the purview of the government but a now a commercial decision. Companies will import and sell kerosene at a commercial rate. It is a deregulated product.”

However, Falana insisted that the government is backed by Section 4 of the Price Control Act and section 316 of the Petroleum Industry Act to determine and fix the prices of petroleum products Including petrol, kerosene, and cooking gas.

READ ALSO: Petroleum minister, Sylva, says fuel at N300 per litre not too much for Nigerians

He also accused the government of deregulating kerosene without the knowledge of Nigerians.

The lawyer said: “With respect, the purported deregulation of the product was illegally pushed out by the Buhari administration.

“It is common knowledge that the Federal Government, through the NNPC is the sole importer of fuel into the country, claiming to be subsidising the product. So how can the Federal Government turn around to allow private companies or the so-called market forces to fix the price of the same product?

“In July 2020, Chief Sylva said that an alternative source of fuel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) would cost between N95 to N97 per litre, to make fuel more affordable in the country. About a year later, it was disclosed by the minister that as part of efforts to ensure that the autogas conversion of vehicles yielded the desired results, the Federal Government had set aside N250 billion for willing investors in autogas assembly plants in the country. The Federal Government should tell Nigerians why the migration from PMS to CNG has been abandoned.”

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